“I started Lite Bites because I was aware that there were a lot of older people who were stuck in the house not seeing other people so I wanted to encourage people to come out, have a meal and meet other people. Getting the Brightlife funding was a Godsend and I hope one day there will be more projects like this to help people to get together and not be lonely.”
Kay runs the ‘Lite Bite Café’ twice a week at Stanney Grange and Flatt Lane Community Centres in Ellesmere Port. After she first set up the café with her own funds, she then applied for ‘Bright ideas’ funding which enabled her to purchase additional equipment such as microwaves, a freezer and all of the cutlery and crockery for the café.
Kay has been a volunteer in different community initiatives for over 27 years, starting out as a football manager to under 14 boys and then running a cyber centre for people aged 50+. She believes it is important for her well-being to be with other people and tells us that her worst nightmare would be not seeing anyone day to day, which she realises is the reality for a lot of people.
When asked what it feels like to be considered an amazing woman by Brightlife, she said: “I am not an amazing woman! I am just someone that is willing to give the time up to help others because I’d like to think if I was in their situation someone else would do the same to help me not be lonely. I get a lot of happiness from volunteering and seeing people enjoy themselves – that’s why I do it to bring happiness to other people.”
It is her vision that there would be more funding available like Bright ideas to help bring people together. She would like the new Minister for Loneliness to make sure there are more places for people to go.
“If we had more funding we could do a lot more…I’d like the Minister to open up community venues free of charge so that people could get together. There are a lot of people like me who are willing to organise things if they had the money to do it.”
Interview by Kate Cousens in celebration of International Women’s Day 2018