Meals on Wheels Week
National Meals on Wheels Week (Monday 6 – Friday 10 November) was an opportunity to highlight the important role of North Somerset Council’s meals on wheels service.
The council’s community meals on wheels service is delivered 363 days a year to older and vulnerable people across North Somerset. As well as delivering a hot meal, drivers are a friendly face who can perform a vital welfare check.
This year’s activities included Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Nigel Ashton, helping a driver on a round in Portishead. He accompanied Gill, one of the meals on wheels drivers and delivered meals to several people and spoke to them about themselves, the service and what they thought was most important about meals on wheels.
One elderly Portishead resident cracked her ribs last year and now finds it very difficult to lift and get around. She said: “As I cannot get further than the garden gate and my family often work away, Gill is sometimes the only person I see all week. I am vegetarian, but do eat fish, however, I am not keen on pasta. All the meals they bring are lovely, much better than I would get in a supermarket.”
When asked what is the most important part of the service, she said: “Obviously I need the meal but I look forward to Gill coming and she is so caring.”
Cllr Ashton said that while he attends many meetings and visits he finds meeting those vulnerable in the community the most rewarding: “As a councillor it is important to know the vulnerable people in your ward.”
Hayley Verrico, North Somerset Council’s Assistant Director for adult support and safeguarding, also went out on a round: “It was good to see first-hand the role of the drivers and it demonstrated the significant needs of the clients I saw. All spoke very highly of the drivers and all said the quality of the food was very good. Meals on wheels are a great team and it was brilliant to hear how positive and motivated they all are.”
The week also saw local police community support officers (PCSOs) accompanying drivers delivering meals around their patch to get to know the vulnerable adults where they work.
Meals on wheels are always delivered by the same driver every day, to build up a relationship with the people receiving meals. All meals are prepared and oven-cooked with older adults in mind, and balanced to provide a third of a person’s daily nutritional needs.
Cllr Dawn Payne, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for adult social services, said: “The meals on wheels service helps vulnerable adults to continue living independently in their own homes for longer, keeping them nourished and hydrated.
“The team provide so much more than just a meal – making sure recipients are warm and following-up on any concerns to make sure no one is left at risk.”
To find out more go to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/meals or call 01275 882 867.