Aspect Living took over the Meals on Wheels service for Suffolk, from the Royal Voluntary Service, in May 2018. The charity has been a client of Pound Gates since its inception, with Allianz Insurance providing motor fleet cover for its 19 vehicles.
On a cold but crisp day in mid-November 2019, Chris Norton, Client Executive at Pound Gates, and Sarah Ball, from Allianz Insurance, experienced a day-in-the-life of a Meals on Wheels driver. Accompanying driver Simon, a retired Police Officer, on his rounds for the day, they visited 16 properties starting in Ipswich, then heading out to Woodbridge, Melton, Hollesley and Bawdsey. A hot meal and dessert, chosen by the client, are delivered to their homes between 11.30am and 2pm.
Chris Norton comments: “As an insurance broker, we sit between the customer and the insurer, and we are tasked with conveying what activities are undertaken, to ensure that suitable and adequate cover is arranged. Seeing and experiencing the service in this way helps me to better understand their operations and give support where needed.
“Added to that, I had the enormous privilege of riding in the car that Pound Gates, through its Acorn Fund, helped to fund. Our staff regularly raise money for our Acorn Fund, and through our partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation, make donations to local causes twice a year. It was lovely to see it come to life in this way.”
The service provided is much more than just food delivery, the daily visit is also a chance to carry out a wellbeing check on the person and their living environment. The team will always start out by asking the client how they are today. Simon commented: “Some people are chattier than others, but it could be that I’m the only person that they will see that day. If they need any help we have emergency contact numbers to hand, as well as their emergency/next of kin contacts.”
Chris added: “It became apparent that whilst the people we delivered to were still independent, they thoroughly enjoyed the service and many were sitting waiting for us to arrive, placemat, plate and cutlery ready to go. I was struck by how something as simple as a little chat and laugh can brighten someone’s day.
“After delivering the last meal, we went back to the depot where the vehicle was cleaned, and paperwork handed into the office with any observations or comments given to the staff.
“I was able to see first-hand Aspect Living (Suffolk Meals on Wheels) in action and thoroughly enjoyed being part of it for a day.”
Tess Aristodemou, Chief Executive of Aspect Living said: “Pound Gates are very supportive of the work we do, and we were thrilled to have them and Allianz join one of our drivers for the day. It highlights their commitment to understanding us so that they can provide the best products and service.”
Aspect Living covers the majority of Suffolk, working 365 days a year to promote and provide wellbeing support for the elderly and vulnerable people in the community to prevent isolation and enable people to live healthy independent lives in their own homes.
For more information about the charity or to make a donation, please visit www.aspectliving.org.uk
For more information about our services, please contact us here.