Council continues to deliver services to vulnerable people in freezing temperatures 8.1.10
With the country experiencing some of the coldest weather for 30 years, Sutton Council is working hard to ensure that vulnerable residents continue to receive essential care.
The meals on wheels service visits nearly 300 people across the borough every day, 365 days a year, and are not defeated by snow.
A team of 100 dedicated staff and volunteers work a rota system to visit housebound residents such as those with sight or mobility problems and bring them a freshly cooked hot meal every day. This is never more important as when temperatures are below freezing, especially as it also offers an invaluable chance to check on residents and to ensure that any other needs they have are quickly addressed.
Cllr Colin Stears, Executive Member for Social Services and Housing on Sutton Council, said: "The meals on wheels service is a real backbone of the community and enables the infirm to stay and be cared for in their own homes.
"The street cleansing department have been keeping the main roads gritted and safe for drivers, enabling our 10 vans can continue to reach the vulnerable across the borough. The minor residential roads currently need to be approached on foot and the meals on wheels staff have donned their wellingtons and warm coats so that they can reach those off the beaten track and make sure no-one misses out on a hot meal which is all the more important when it is so cold outside."
Alan Williams, a former mechanic for London Transport who has been delivering meals on wheels as a volunteer for 8 years, said: "Not turning up because of the snow isn't really an option for us as people really rely on us and I wouldn't want to let them down.
"Some of the older people hardly see anyone from one day to the next so when we turn up and there's a friendly voice, a smile and a little chat they are really happy."
Further contingency plans are also in place to protect those at risk during bad weather and the council has a database detailing the emergency support available to every known vulnerable resident.
The gritting team have been working continuously day and night to keep the roads moving. As the cold weather continues the main roads and transport routes remain the priority.
Street scene staff have been clearing pavements with shovels giving priority to areas around schools that are open, hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes.
Last updated: Monday, 12 April 2010