Meals on Wheels services need our support
5 October 2015
Ahead of Meals on Wheels Week 2015 (9-13 November) the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) invited industry leaders out on the road to experience the real value of the Meals on Wheels service. Our chief executive Peter Ducker FIH found that it’s about much more than just providing a meal.
“I delivered with Mark around St Albans. The area is served by Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS). There were 21 deliveries on our round, which included three with an additional evening snack, gluten-free and vegetarian options. Most were elderly, but there were two who were younger with other challenges in life. Two of the visits were to people who were blind.
I think it is impossible to experience this without feeling humbled by how easy your own life is by comparison. Everyone lived alone, and it was quite apparent that in many cases this would be the only outside contact that day. Mark had a tale to tell about almost every person we visited. In addition to delivering meals we helped one blind lady by moving a training flex out of her way, and another by taking a birthday card to be posted. It’s a real lifeline.
It’s obvious that the service is important as the principal source of nutrition and hydration. What I hadn’t realised was just how significant the social aspect was, and also the role of the delivery as being a first line of defence for the clients. It is also clear that without this support, independent living would be a major challenge.
Mark, whose round I accompanied was obviously proud of the help he was giving, and saw his role in a much broader light than just delivering food. The weather on the day I was out was heavy rain, which made everything harder, particularly getting in and out of the car constantly. After the round I had the opportunity to sample a meal, which was both tasty and satisfying.
When I talk with people about the Institute of Hospitality they seem to see only luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants. I take great pride in knowing that colleagues in this broad Industry are providing a service, below the radar for most people, that is such an important part of the social care fabric of our society.”
Meals on Wheels Week runs from 9-13 November 2015
The NACC National Meals on Wheels week is a fundamental initiative created to raise the profile and awareness of meals on wheels service and promote the importance of this vital service.
The week is an opportunity to highlight the importance of keeping the vulnerable and elderly within our communities nourished, socially independent, and most importantly in their homes for longer.
The NACC are asking the government to consider making Meals on Wheels a statutory protected service for those considered most at risk in the community to help ensure greater provision across England, Scotland and Wales. Meals on Wheels are currently a discretionary service – councils do not have to provide meals on wheels services.
For further information contact, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0870 748 0180.