Plan to start up meals on wheels service in South Tyneside
A new meals-on-wheels service in South Tyneside could be going places if people display an appetite for its delivery.
It is being launched on a one-day-a-week trial basis – but could operate every weekday within a year with positive uptake.
Organisers are aiming it at elderly, disabled and vulnerable people who have difficulty cooking nutritious meals themselves.
They will get a hot meal brought to their homes at lunchtime and their plate collected when they have finished.
The scheme is being operated by South Tyneside Community Laundry (STCL), which has run a non-profit clothes cleaning service from its Hebburn headquarters for nine years.
Bosses will work in partnership with Frankies Diner, in Ocean Road, South Shields, where meals will be prepared and despatched.
Stuart Urwin, 59, proprietor of STCL, said: “This is about replacing a service which was lost years ago and bringing back community spirit.
“Care providers only get a very limited time to go into people homes and help them, they don’t have time to help with meals.
“There are a lot of people living in the community who are bedridden or just not able to feed themselves well. The plan is to launch the service as a trial to see what kind of demand for it there is and we will take it from there.
“We are busy putting the last pieces of the jigsaw together, but this could become an important service to many people.”
STCL, a community interest company, has secured funding to buy hot plates on which the meals will be delivered from Unltd.org, which supports social entrepreneurs.
A daily meal, including delivery, is expected to cost about £5.50.
Mr Urwin expects a number of volunteers will be required to help operate the service, should it take off.
The organisation’s laundry service has around 400 regular users who benefit from having their clothes collected, cleaned and returned.
Operated in partnership with South Tyneside Council, it has capacity to support 1,000 people and is also looking to expand take up.
Anyone who would like to benefit from either of STCL’s programmes should contact Mr Unwin on 0191 489 1701, email [email protected] or find STCL on Facebook.