Ipswich Meals on Wheels: much more than just a food service
FOR MORE than 50 years volunteers from Ipswich Meals on Wheels have been knocking on doors and delivering hearty, nutritious meals to local residents.
The service provides regular meals to 180, but in any given year more than 300 residents call on them to deliver lunch and dinner.
As QT chief photographer Rob Williams found out, the service is much more than just a food delivery agency.
Recently the service's volunteers discovered that one of their clients had collapsed and was lying unconscious on the floor of their home.
Manager Jane White said Meals on Wheels was a valuable asset to the community.
"We are a social contact for these people and at the same time we are a daily monitor for their safety and well-being," she said.
"If no one answers the door when we arrive we will follow it up with close family, who will then ensure the client is okay."
The Ipswich Meals on Wheels philosophy is to provide nutritious meals to the frail, elderly, younger disabled and their carers to help maintain their independence so that they may remain in their home for as long as possible. This friendly service that Meals on Wheels provides means many things to many people:
Mrs Mavis Salisbury (Sadliers Crossing): If I didn't have them I'd have to cook my own meals. I have problems with my eyesight and other issues with lighting the stove which could cause problems. I'd be really stuck without them.
The ladies are very helpful, they carry the tray inside and put it on the table for me; they ask how I'm feeling. A lot of them are elderly and we like to have a good chat about one another's woes. I would be lost without Meals on Wheels, my family no longer lives in Ipswich so the Meals on Wheels people are like my second family. Mrs Rona Russell (North Ipswich):
For anyone on their own with nobody to help them it's a very good balanced diet for old people. The people at Meals on Wheels are very good. I can still cook things for myself but I don't go and get groceries, my family does that for me.
You've got to have a bit of help somewhere when you get to nearly 89. The Meals on Wheels people are marvellous; they are wonderful ladies and men.
A lot of people couldn't manage without the help of Meals on Wheels.
Mrs Joan Cotter (Booval): It's great company when the people turn up with the meals. They come in and talk to you while they are packing it away.
They do a very good job. I'm 90 and I'm getting old. You don't cook as much at my age. If I didn't have Meals on Wheels I'd have to go and buy food, which would mean I'd have to catch a bus or a taxi to get it. You don't have to worry each day that you have no food in the house, Meals on Wheels delivers my hot meals to me. I've never met such polite people.
They always have a smile on their face.