The Sunday Roast is a British treasure, but it has recently worked greater magic than warming our stomachs on a Sunday afternoon. The Brighton Sunday Roast Club, a Facebook group created to celebrate a good roast and connect those who do, has shown just how embedded the meal is in fostering community spirit.

When Pat Obryne made her first post, she could not have expected the outpouring of support from other roast-lovers…

Pat lives in Portslade near Brighton but was finding it difficult to get out and about to enjoy a Sunday dinner near her. She posted on the group, which has over 6,000 members, about how she wished she had more opportunities to share a Sunday dinner.

“I am disabled, love roast dinners but live on my own, no car, very lonely, but have not got a big appetite.”

Within minutes, Pat has dozens of replies and the post now has an overwhelming response.

Many members of the group offered to share their Sunday Roast with Pat, take her out, or bring one round to her. The group, united by their love of a good roast, came together to help an elderly woman enjoy one too.

Kirsty Hewitt replied saying: “Hi Pat, you’d be welcome round ours for a roast 🙂 as long as you don’t mind sharing the table with a cheeky toddler!” Pat responded saying she likes cheeky toddlers, especially since she hadn’t been around her grandchildren as much as she liked.

Other connections were forged too, as member Rob Elgood offered to pick Pat up and take her home after treating her to a roast anywhere she liked. Rob was so generous as to even offer to pay, saying “where I’m from, if we invite someone out, they most certainly do not pay!”

His offer sparked further generosity from local businesses, with one messaging to say, “not wanting to advertise on here but if you pop over to Kristers place the meal’s on us.”

Members also put Pat in touch with local organisations, such as the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership which offers a local casserole club and a regular meal friend. These gestures mean that Pat will continue to benefit after the responses on the post die-down (if they ever do…)

The post was shared across Twitter too, and gained over 9,000 retweets and 30,000 favourites, making Pat and her selfless Roast-loving community quite the social media sensation!

As one group member put it: “no-one should be lonely for a roast when this group exists.” And isn’t that what community, and Sunday dinners, all about?

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Helena Vine is currently studying History at the University of Edinburgh, and loves anything making the world a better place.

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