Make Lunch Ashford


For friends and working mums Sheila and Maria, getting through the school holidays with their 4 young boys was becoming a struggle. Living in one of the 10% most deprived areas of the country, low wages made summer childcare impossible. On top of that, food and community were hard to find without the provision of the school day. Despite working they found themselves facing the crippling effects of the rising cost of living and the pressure of the holiday times. ‘There’s only so much you can do because everything is cost cost cost.’ Sheila shared. 

Their boys Eddie (5), Ricky (10), Charlie (10) and Ollie (10) are energetic kids who love to be busy and would always be asking their mums ‘What are we doing today?’ This was an emotional struggle for both families, as they desperately wanted to provide safe and productive fun for their children to protect them from the risks that boredom can bring. It was a challenge to worry daily about where the next meal would be coming from. 

The families started going to TLG Make Lunch at St Francis church, Ashford five years ago.  

‘Coming to Make Lunch might make our mum feel less worried because she knows where we are’ Ollie tells us ‘and she knows we’ll get a hot meal’ twin Charlie adds. Both families have found the club to be an incredible support. ‘The volunteers always approach you for a chat’, ‘and they even put on a pantry full of essentials, so we don’t just get a hot meal on the day, but food to take away with us as well’ the mums tell us.  

The church has done a fantastic job of building relational bridges on the estate, and rather than dreading the holidays, the families now look forward to them. Sheila tells us they particularly enjoy special occasions like Easter and Christmas, ‘TLG Make Lunch really go out of their way to make these times special’. 

Ricky recalls one Christmas ‘I was ill and had to stay at home poorly and the team brought Fortnite figures and food to my house’. Sounds of delighted squeals were heard by the volunteers as they left the house that day! 

The community the families have built at TLG Make Lunch has relieved the stress and strains around the holidays, and Sheila and Maria have told all their friends about the club!  

For the boys, they have been coming to TLG Make Lunch for so long now that it has become a safe space for them. Ollie reflects ‘It feels nice, because if you’ve never been in a church before, now you can experience it’. 


Find out more about running TLG Make Lunch at my church




It feels nice, because if you’ve never been in a church before, now you can experience it!