Volunteers move to meal on wheels service rival

Julie and Danny Kelly offering hot meal delivery service   Picture by Louise Adams C131427-2
Julie and Danny Kelly offering hot meal delivery service Picture by Louise Adams C131427-2

A CAFE is taking on disillusioned volunteers quitting the meals on wheels service after changes to their roles.

Danny and Julie Kelly already deliver meals from their Selsey cafe, and are hoping to take on volunteers and users who are dissatisfied with meals on wheels.

They already have two volunteers on board, and Mr Kelly said the more volunteers they recruited, the more people they could serve.

“That is going to be down to people – people power,” said Mr Kelly.

He said the volunteers came to him, and he suggested setting up their own hot meals service.

“They are confused they are bitter at the way this is to be rolled out,” said Mr Kelly.

And are showing their discontent by wanting to leave the meals on wheels system and join our delivery system.

“This has caused us to rethink our service and I am pleased to announce that as from November 18, we will be delivering our Meals ‘N’ Wheels service where we intend to use some of the same volunteers and keep the continuity and familiarity going, thus causing least upset to some of the elderly.”

This comes after the announcement that meals on wheels volunteers will no longer deliver meals, and they are worried they will become ‘care workers’.

Their new role will include going into the users’ homes to microwave ready meals, and conducting ‘safe and well’ checks.

Users have recently received a survey from West Sussex County Council, asking if they would like help with shopping, travelling and even help with their benefits – sparking fears from volunteers that this will fall on their shoulders.

“That is down to the carers,” said meals on wheels volunteer Doug Holmes.

“Why should we take that from them? It is their job.”

Mr Holmes is one of the volunteers who is planning to jump ship to the Selsey cafe.

“I think Danny is going to give a better service, being on the doorstep,” said Mr Holmes.

He is worried about the inconsistency of paid drivers turning up with the meals instead of the volunteers. He said the older people might find it confusing.

“They need continuity and a routine,” he said. “We care about the old folk, that is why we do it. They come first.”

He is hoping to keep that continuity by working with Mr and Mrs Kelly, who say they will pick up dissatisfied users and volunteers from meals on wheels.

Mr Holmes is one of two volunteers planning to move over to Julie’s Kitchen Diner – but Danny hopes more will follow.

Mr and Mrs Kelly are keen to take on current meals on wheels users, and say their service is: “In the community, for the community, by the community.”

They are also trying to find sponsorship from a local business, so they can subsidise the meals for users.

Contact Mr Kelly on 07767 421297 for more information.