AN organisation working to help isolated and lonely people is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Teesdale Day Clubs – a charity that provides lunch clubs throughout the dale – will honour the milestone by hosting an afternoon tea event at Raby Castle on Wednesday, October 9.

Lady Barnard said: “I am enormously proud to be patron to such a worthwhile and successful organisation and I am sure that, with the continued dedication and hard work of the staff, volunteers and trustees, it will provide its valuable services to the local community for many years to come.”

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon, will attend the event and guests will also hear from some of the day club members who will be speaking on the day about their own experiences of how the day club services benefit them.

Other guests will include Lord Barnard, the town mayor of Barnard Castle, Councillor John Blissett and mayoress Karen Blissett, representatives from the National Lottery Community Fund, Durham County Council and other supporters.

In August, the charity hosted three separate lunchtime events in Staindrop, Barnard Castle and Mickleton for all their members and volunteers to say thank you for their support and commitment over the years.

More than 200 three-course meals were prepared and served by the day club staff chefs with club leaders, office team, and trustees helping out with table service.

Dr Peter Wood, chair of Teesdale Day Clubs for more than seven years, said: “Our aim as a charity is to minimise the adverse effects of people feeling lonely or being isolated by providing opportunities to spend time with other people, and we aim to help people stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.

"Our Raby Castle celebration is to mark our achievement of still being a lively and highly valued community service, and to show our gratitude for the support we have received over the years from our funders and supporters.”