A meals on wheels service in Kendal is expanding and needs more volunteers to help.
The catering team at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust worked closely with volunteers and Kendal Integrated Care Community to launch the service in November 2020.
As well as making meals for patients at Westmorland General Hospital and its staff, the catering team spends up to three hours a day making dishes for the Meals on Wheels, using freshly sourced products from local suppliers.
The Kendal service runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and serves 15 meals a day.
Five volunteers are currently dedicating up to three hours over these days to deliver the meals across Kendal.
The trust wants to expand the service to help more local people but needs to recruit more volunteers to help them deliver the meals.
Tracy Litt, catering manager, said: “All of our volunteers have fed back that the Meals on Wheel service is a necessity and we want to be able to help more people in Kendal who are elderly or feeling vulnerable or isolated; but to do that, we need at least 10 volunteers to be able to expand and run the service five days a week.
“I want to thank all of the volunteers who have helped us to run the service so far, including Marie Murray at Kendal ICC and Barry Rigg and his team of volunteers who purchased the heated bags for us to enable us to keep the meals at the correct temperature while they are being delivered.”
Volunteer Myles Ripley said: “I help by doing community meals because I am always interested in any ways that I can help my local community – I did many shifts at the hospital during lockdown distributing meal boxes to the employees and this outreach service to the community seemed a good way to keep in touch with the local hospital.”
Glenys Marriott’s parents, who are in their 90s, started using the service in November.
Glenys, of Kendal, said: “Tracy has been amazing and really flexible if my 96 and 93-year-old parents have had special requirements.
“The food arrives right on time, delivered by friendly volunteers. It would be wonderful if it could be extended to a five-day service.”
Alison Nicholson, lead nurse and advanced nurse practitioner for Kendal ICC, said: “We are very proud as an ICC to support this venture and ensure older people have access to nutritious, home-cooked, hot meals regularly.
“We are grateful to Marie Murray our wellbeing co-ordinator, Tracy, Barry and Amanda and the catering team for their commitment to this innovation. We look forward to its continued success.”
The trust’s catering team also runs a Meals on Wheels service in Barrow, which launched in April 2014.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Kendal service or would like to receive the service, email [email protected] or call 01229 491001.