Green Business Club Zuidas and RAI Amsterdam organise lunch for the elderly

On Thursday 29 June, Green Business Club (GBC) Zuidas, RAI Amsterdam and Dynamo organised a lunch for elderly neighbourhood residents as part of a project to tackle loneliness. A recent study by the municipal health service (GGD) showed that around 80,000 Amsterdam residents are very lonely, including a group of elderly people who are no longer able to take part in social activities. In response Green Business Club Zuidas is organising ‘Ask-Away’ lunches that connect elderly people and companies in the neighbourhood. RAI Amsterdam hosted the first edition, bringing together a group of local elderly with other residents and RAI employees.

The first ‘Ask-Away’ lunch was attended by ten elderly residents from the Buitenveldert neighbourhood and ten RAI Amsterdam employees. One of the guests was a 93-year-old man who had visited the AutoRAI exhibition a staggering 31 times, while another guest of a similar respectable age had held surveys on the visitor experience at the exit of the RAI. Most of the elderly Amsterdam residents had specific memories of the RAI. Other subjects discussed over lunch included children, work, living and health care.

Sustainability and social projects
Prior to the lunch, RAI CSR manager Stephanie Mathas spoke about the growth of the convention centre over the decades, what this has meant for the neighbourhood, and the fact that the RAI offers unemployed youngsters a combined training and working programme. The attending residents were surprised to hear about the large number of solar panels on the RAI roof, and the fact that the company employs a zero-waste policy. Executive chef Rientz Mulder then discussed the various ways in which the RAI aims for sustainability, minimises its impact on the environment, buys as much locally as possible and supports social projects. As an illustration he gave each of the guests the ketchup recipe created by the RAI Basement Chefs using tomatoes from Stadskwekerij Osdorp city farm.

About Ask-Away
This year GBC Zuidas will be organising three lunches for elderly people in the company restaurants of GBC members, during which ten residents come into contact with employees over a pleasant lunch. Taxi Centrale Amsterdam picks up the guests in electric taxis free of charge and returns them home. The first edition of the event took place at RAI Amsterdam; lunches will be hosted by other GBC Zuidas members in September and November.

More information (Dutch only) »

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