'Hot Meal' service launches early for city's older people

'Hot Meal' service launches early for city's older people

Published by Mike Draper at 6:12am 29th April 2020. (Updated at 6:19am 29th April 2020)

3 minute read

Age UK Wiltshire say because of the Covid-19 crisis they have started a new scheme sooner than originally planned delivering hot lunches in Salisbury.

Part of their coordinated response to the Coronavirus pandemic has been to 'rapidly accelerate the launch' of the 'Community Hot Meals' service for helping isolated older people.

  • The Community Hot Meals service first began in Swindon at the end of March
  • From Monday last week (20th April) it started delivering to customers in Salisbury

Age UK Wiltshire want to hear from potential customers or their family/friends who would find this service helpful, particularly during the pandemic and lockdown.

Matthew Morrison-Clarke from Age UK Wiltshire told Spire FM News: 

"Our original plan at the start of the year was to focus our efforts towards north Wiltshire and Swindon...  In addition, the distance and geography of Salisbury and south east Wiltshire suggested that to introduce a resilient service there, we would need to invest in a new physical site in Salisbury from which to prepare and deliver meals and so we started to develop a plan for a launch probably towards the end of the summer."

"And then a certain virus arrived, followed by an increased level of interest from potential clients who had heard of the new service we were operating in the north of the county. In response to this, we invested in some new vehicles, equipment and staff, and extended our reach southwards from Swindon and since Monday (20 April), we have been successfully delivering a service in and around Salisbury, and will continue to do so on every day of the week."

GETTING PEOPLE ON BOARD

Jo Banks, from Age UK Wiltshire told Spire FM:

"The service costs £6.50 per day for a two course meal.  Technically there is no minimum sign-up period as we are able to turn the service on and off as long as we know the day before whether someone requires it. However, as it is classed as a Welfare Service and therefore exempt from VAT, we do need to complete a short assessment over the phone before we can start as we need to be sure it is suitable for a person's needs."

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?

Jo Banks also said:

"We do, however, need to make this a resilient and sustainable service so that we can continue to provide it once the pandemic is over. The customer-type that the service is aimed at need support on an ongoing basis, not just to get them through these difficult times. Therefore, we need to build our customer base to make the daily trips from Swindon to Salisbury to deliver meals viable."

The Age UK Wiltshire has links to the national Age UK charity, but is independent and responsible for its own funding.

The customer-type that the service is aimed at will probably need support on an ongoing basis, not just to get them through these difficult times.

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