The Hayle Hub, part of Transition Penwith, seeks to build positive communities through fun initiatives that promote wide-ranging areas, from social inclusion to sustainability. The hub offered this free lunch to anyone in the area keen to book on, and sought donations from local farms to enable it to happen. The aim was to celebrate the diversity of people in and around Hayle, and to encourage the use of locally-grown foods.

To attract members of Hayle’s elderly population who may not get out much at the weekends, the event was held at the Hayle Day Centre. Attractions were offered that drew in young families too including Hayle-based story teller Samuel Marsden whoc enthralled children with his recently published book, Cornish Tales.

With the emergency services' community station just next door, the fire service also brought along a fire engine which children (and adults too) could exploring. Locally-based Cuban band, Rumba Diablo, was the perfect addition to the wonderfully upbeat atmosphere.

Before serving up a home-cooked meal of vegetable stew and apple crumble, one of the organisers, Jane Haskings, told guests about the hub’s aims of the day. She explained how eating locally-produced food reduces food miles and helps keep money in the county. Leftover food was given away at the end of the day in keeping with the Hub’s message about reducing food waste, and thinking twice before binning food.

A regular user of the day centre, 90-year-old Robert Hopkins who lives just outside Hayle, said: “The food was delicious, and the volunteers serving us were so helpful. But the best thing of all was just sitting down at a table and even though I didn’t know anyone, everyone was so friendly and easy to start up nice conversations with. On a Sunday I wouldn’t normally go out anywhere, so it was so good to have this event today.”

Jane said: “This was a really positive day and wouldn’t have happened without the hard work of 11 locals who volunteered their time on the day, or the kind suppliers who donated us food. We were so pleased with the numbers who came; it showed that Hayle is ready for grass-roots events where people come together to enjoy communal dining and spending time together. We had a few families who are brand new to Hayle, so it was good to be able to welcome them to the town”.

The Hub is thinking a similar dining event could be held next year, perhaps a ‘pot luck’ dinner where everyone brings along a plate to share, with elders being catered for.

The Hayle Hub is holding its next gathering on November 22 at 7.30pm at the Cornish Arms. Everyone is welcome from Hayle and the surrounding area - bring any ideas of things you’d like to see happening in the area. For more information go to