Age UK Northamptonshire to keep lifeline shopping and meal delivery services post COVID-19

Due to increasing demand across the county Age UK Northamptonshire is set to keep their shopping and hot meals delivery services after lockdown

By Carly Roberts
Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 11:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 3:55 pm
Annika pictured before heading out to deliver groceries to Age UK's elderly clients.
Annika pictured before heading out to deliver groceries to Age UK's elderly clients.

Age UK is to make it's two-course temporary meals-on-wheels and emergency shopping service permanent for it's elderly members once lockdown measures are eased.

The charity closed the doors to its day centres following the Government’s introduction of lockdown in March and clients who had been attending the day centres for baths, hot meals and a chat, were no longer able to.

The charity quickly set up emergency deliveries and has so far provided 2754 meals, 1627 loads of shopping, collected 201 prescriptions and has provided transport 14 times to appointments.

Fern Overton, day care and transport service manager, said: “Our staff and volunteers have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 weeks to make sure that existing clients and new referrals have the support they need.

"Clients look forward to the visit and social interaction as much as they look forward to the meals or groceries.

"Many people benefitting from deliveries are our day centre clients who really miss coming to the day centre, so it’s good for their wellbeing to be visited by a familiar face, someone they know and trust.”

Given the growth in demand the charity has implemented ways to make the services sustainable.

Older people are now able to order a two-course, freshly prepared meal which is delivered to their door at a charge of £6 per meal and a shopping delivery is charged at £5.

The emergency services had been delivered for free, but at a time when the charity’s income has dropped significantly due to the suspension of some paid-for services and charity shop temporary closures, small changes needed to be implemented to help cover the cost of delivery and sustain the support in the long-term.

The charges mean that clients can continue to choose how many meals they would like to order each week and can receive a daily delivery from Monday to Friday.

Chris Duff, Age UK Northamptonshire’s chief executive, said “We were well-placed to offer these emergency services to our clients and are pleased to be able to offer the support on an on-going basis.

"Responding to the needs of older people in the county is at the heart of what we do, so adapting our services in order to make the biggest difference, is absolutely necessary.”

Older people across Northamptonshire can call 01604 604500 and speak to a member of staff who is experienced in talking to older people who might have hearing difficulties or memory problems.

The grocery and meal orders are placed with an Age UK Northants member of staff who also takes payment securely over the telephone.

The charity can answer enquiries from relatives who live in other parts of the country, set up the service and make payments. The services mean that isolated and often vulnerable older people are guaranteed a visit by a caring person who will have a chat and check they are okay.

To find out more information about Age UK Northamptonshire’s services, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.

Age UK Northamptonshire’s COVID-19 appeal is still open to any individual, club or business who would like to donate during this difficult time.