Published Thursday, 28th May 2020
Sutton Council and volunteers provide a daily Meals on Wheels service to the most vulnerable in our borough.
The service is one of only three in-house Meals on Wheels services in London, operating seven days a week and has been invaluable in supporting residents during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.
The Meals on Wheels service helps to reduce delays in people being discharged from hospital; reduces the demand on care workers needing to visit people in their homes and supports people to live as independently as possible. Since the start of the national crisis the service has experienced a 40% increase in demand, delivering an additional 40 to 50 meals per day.
The Meals on Wheels team has ensured that some of Sutton’s most vulnerable residents have been receiving hot meals and packed tea each day. The service is traditionally provided through a mix of Council staff, working in the administration and kitchen functions and volunteers, provided by Sutton Older People’s Welfare Committee, undertaking the delivery roles.
The service has faced and responded to many new challenges as a result of COVID-19. One of the biggest challenges that we face going forward is that many of the loyal volunteers have had to self isolate as they are in the high risk categories. During the lockdown Sutton residents, that are not high risk, have come on board to help and the majority of the delivery service is once again being provided by volunteers.
The service is in need of more volunteers who are under 70 and do not have underlying health conditions who can join the service and work alongside long standing volunteers when they are able to return.
One of Sutton Older People’s Welfare Committee’s new volunteers, Steve Biddiscombe, explained why he volunteered to help:
“I owned my own business and was in the process of winding it down in order to take semi-retirement. I heard a request on Radio Jackie announcing that Sutton Lodge were looking for Meals on Wheels volunteers and I wanted to help and make a really good contribution to my community.
It has gone very well for me. It only takes 2-3 hours out of my day and has kept me busy during lockdown. It's been really nice meeting different people and I plan to continue to carry on as I have the time and really enjoy it.”
If you are interested in joining this team of dedicated volunteers and would like to find out more, please contact Sutton Old People’s Welfare Committee for a friendly chat on 020 8642 5496 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Vacancies are available for van drivers and van escorts immediately)