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National Meals on Wheels Day

With so much uncertainty in the world at present, it is great to celebrate something stable and reliable.

One long-standing organisation serving the community, Meals on Wheels continues to support the older and frail members of our community.

As National Meals on Wheels Day happens it is worth remembering what happens locally from our service when over 120 volunteers are rostered on to support 180 clients.

Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels serves our community from Durras to Mystery Bay each week in several ways.

Meals are delivered by a wonderful and dedicate team of volunteers. The smiles given by the dedicated and compassionate volunteers are welcomed each week by the clients. The opportunity for a quick chat with someone from outside the home calls by is highly valued when you live alone and have few social contacts.

According to the Manager (Alan Russell) these are important parts of the delivery process and the overall service offered by Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels volunteers. There is no cost, for a smile or a quick word, but they are of high value to both the client and the volunteer.

The local clients can pick, each week, from a menu which has 62 items on it. These range from soups to mini and large meals, to gourmet meals and desserts. Vegetarian meals, pureed meals and gluten free meals are all offered. Clients select what they like and have it delivered to their home each week on a predetermined day. The clients wait in anticipation and are never let down.

But Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels is like most other meals on wheels services and offers “More than a Meal”.

The Group Social Support section offers exciting events and activities through its well-known Out and About programme.

Clients have the opportunity to leave their home with new friends to take part in activities which range from music appreciation to book club, from craft and painting to visiting speakers and entertainers, from going to the movies to having lunch at different places and throughout they like to share a laugh.

“The wellbeing of our senior citizens is most important,” says Alan Russell. “We offer a range of adventures and activities from which the clients choose. Our bus collects them from home, takes them to the event and returns them home afterwards. It is a cheerful door to door service with fun, laughter, companionship, and lunch offered each day.”

“Individual Social Support allows our clients to have someone take them shopping, to complete some ‘courtyard gardening’, take them to appointments, or to visit to play cards, do a puzzle or share a cup of tea,” says Mr Russell. “This also helps to eliminate isolation and loneliness which are common issues amongst the older community.”

Other parts of our local programme include a monthly event at the Aboriginal community at Wallaga Lake in partnership with other support groups, and a new group for dementia clients and their carers.

“We are working towards soon introducing support for the ‘busy people’ in our community. There will be a variety of new meals available. These will be delivered or collected and will be quite separate from the Aged Care processes our clients presently are referred through.”

“We believe these may assist those who are working long hours or who are heavily involved in supporting other community events- coaching sports teams and the like,” says Mr Russell. “This could be a very exciting new phase for our organisation.”

Alan Russell said, “Our volunteers are the key to the success of Meals on Wheels. We can measure the number of meals and the hours of assistance, but how do you measure the genuine support our clients are offered each day by these people?”

“Too often this is forgotten by our leaders who are driven by data. They can forget the compassion and support given by so many volunteers”.

“If we totalled the hours given by these people and costed it out, no Government would want to foot that bill nationally.”

“Meals on Wheels across the country has a bigger workforce than Bunnings, or Telstra or NAB; and they are all volunteers. Today we remember their commitment and value their services.”

Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels is a great community-based service and without it many people would not be able to stay in their homes, enjoy fun and laughter and a great quality of life.

National Meals on Wheels Day is a wonderful time to reflect, celebrate the efforts of the smiling volunteers, and the service to the community that these people give; and a chance to offer thanks for the joy they take to each client when they visit.

It is also an opportunity to join and roster yourself onto the team as a volunteer or maybe become a client at Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels and be part of this community service.

National Meals on Wheels Day allows us to remember that helping your community at any time is important, but when you are in the middle of a crisis, it is vital and extremely worthwhile.

About Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a household name and of course we do provide meals to people in their home, but did you know we are offer more than just a meal?  We also provide support to people to maintain and expand their social connections, through our Out and About Centre and through other in home social sevices. See our service page for more details

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