Age UK Northamptonshire’s emergency shopping and hot meal delivery services to continue after COVID-19
Written by Chris Harris on June 17, 2020
Age UK Northamptonshire is set to keep their shopping and hot meals delivery services, due to increasing demand across Northamptonshire. Originally set up as emergency services in response to lockdown, the charity has decided to keep both services as permanent offerings for older people across Northamptonshire.
The charity closed the doors to its day centres following the government’s introduction of lockdown in March. Clients who had been attending the day centres and benefitting from social contact, hot meals, haircuts and baths, were no longer able to access that support. Older people in general, especially those with health conditions, were advised to self-isolate which meant getting access to essential grocery shopping, medication and hot meals became extremely difficult for many.
In response to this, the charity quickly set up emergency deliveries, providing meals, shopping, prescriptions, and transport to appointments. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and clients are grateful that Age UK Northamptonshire have been able to provide a much-needed lifeline. Given the growth in demand and the likelihood that even after lockdown is lifted, older people will need to remain cautious, 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. Older people across Northamptonshire simply call 01604 604500 and speak to a friendly 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.
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.”
To find out more information about Age UK Northamptonshire’s services, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.