Local charity, Age UK Portsmouth, has been commissioned by Portsmouth City Council to carry out Meals on Wheels deliveries across the city.
The new Meals on Wheels service provides a more flexible model than it has in the past, with drivers given the time to check up on service users, stop for a chat and where needed help them access other support that may be available, rather than just delivering the food.
Councillor Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, made a visit to the kitchens at Age UK Portsmouth last month, to meet the team and see how meals are prepared and delivered.
“I was highly impressed with what I saw on my visit to Age UK Portsmouth. Our new service is designed to provide more than just food, but also to prevent loneliness and offer social contact and support for service users. We’re really proud to be delivering this with a local charity and are very excited to watch the new service take shape.
“When our current Meals on Wheels contract expired and our previous provider indicated the costs would increase significantly, we decided to change who we were with, as the increased costs would have hit those using the service hardest. We worked closely with Somerstown Central Community Hub and Radis Community Care while alternative provision was found, and we’d like to thank them for their exceptionally hard work during this time.”
Dianne Sherlock, Chief Executive of Age UK Portsmouth, said:
“Age UK Portsmouth are absolutely delighted to have taken on the serious responsibility of delivering Meals on Wheels. For our kitchen/cafe team to be able to offer a service that complements Age UK Portsmouth’s existing home, gardening and financial support services is an honour and we intend, over time, to grow our Meals on Wheels capacity.”
The referral process via the council’s independence and wellbeing team remains in place to ensure that the charity embeds a successful and supportive service for all users of the service, both existing and new.