To provide hot meals for those aged 50+ who are not be able to cook for themselves. The people who most need this service can also be the hardest to reach, because they have become isolated in their communities.
Hamers Butchers in central Bolton started a mobile meals service. All meals were freshly prepared in the shop and ordered by phone, text or in person by carers. They worked with Age UK and other partners to promote the service.
They deliver up to 200 nutritious meals every week and have become a source of connection and social interaction for otherwise isolated members of the communities. Carers have also benefitted, knowing that the person they care for is being delivered quality food and having human contact on a regular basis.
Hamers have received a lot of positive feedback in response to their mobile meals service, but the thing they have most enjoyed hearing is that their customers are not just benefitting from having nutritious meals delivered regularly – but also the vital human contact the deliveries provide:
“One lady told us what a difference it made to her, just knowing that her elderly mother was receiving good food and that someone was making contact. As a carer she was doing everything she could for her mother but this project made her feel that she wasn’t on her own in looking out for her.”
As many of those who benefit from this service are relatively isolated within the community, they can also prove difficult to inform about the existence of the service.
To solve this, Hamers created fliers which they distributed widely through their own contacts as well as partner organisations. The family business has been in the same location for over 60 years, and was able to make use of their long-term connections with customers and their families to reach a wide range of older customers.
This project shows the difference it can make when private business and VCSE organisations work together to reach some of the most isolated people in the community. Had they worked on their own they would have not been able to reach as many people.
Ambition for Ageing funding will end in July, however Hamers intend to keep the service running beyond that point.
Ambition for Ageing Bolton Senior Project Officer, Age UK Bolton
T: 01204 382411