THURROCK Lunch Club celebrated its second birthday this week.

The club, which opens in school holidays, provides meals for those families in the community who rely on free school meals during term time.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Lunch Club has opened three days a week during every school holiday since the summer of 2012 and recently served its one thousandth meal.

To celebrate the anniversary, 28 children, four carers and the rest of the team ate hot dogs and party food and played party games.

The children also made cupcakes and iced them for the party. Instead of a birthday cake they enjoyed apple crumble with candles on top. Several of the guests at the celebration joined the club when it first opened and are still current members.

Elle Knight, Thurrock Lunch Club Co-ordinator, said: "Thurrock Lunch Club has become an important part of the school holidays for many families - providing fun activities, hot food and great role models for local children.

"It also gives opportunities to carers, many of whom are out of work when we meet them, to build their skills and confidence as part of our growing team. For many families it's about community, and having a club they can come to without it costing the earth, where they can make friends and eat a healthy meal."