Gallery: Volunteers to extend hot meals service based in Sudbury to cater for older and vulnerable residents in Great Cornard

The Bridge Project food delivery service at Bradbury Courtyard in Sudbury. Alyson Tampion (near), Jenny Burge and Gary Riley at work in the kitchen. The Bridge Project food delivery service at Bradbury Courtyard in Sudbury. Alyson Tampion (near), Jenny Burge and Gary Riley at work in the kitchen.

Emma Brennan emma.brennan@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
12:25 PM

For some of the older and vulnerable people who benefit from the Bridge Project’s meal delivery service, it offers a lot more than a hearty hot dinner.

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According to Anesta Newson – who started the Sudbury-based initiative three years ago from the charity’s Gainsborough Street premises – for many it offers welcome contact with the outside world.

Last week, a new national 24-hour Silver Line helpline was launched to provide a voice at the end of the phone for Britian’s estimated 2.5 million older people who are lonely.

Mrs Newsome told the EADT: “In Sudbury, often the Bridge Project volunteers are the only people that our clients see all day. They really look forward to having a chat with our delivery team, who also look out for their welfare.”

The Bridge Project has been providing vocational training, education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged adults in the local area since 1995.

The hot meals service currently operates in the Sudbury area every lunchtime, providing freshly cooked lunches prepared in the charity’s kitchen. The chefs are aided by the Bridge Project students. Mrs Newson said they are planning to widen the net to cover Great Cornard in the new year and are hoping to take the initiative out to rural village locations.

She continued: “It has really taken off in Sudbury and we have had so many requests to take the service out to new areas. It is mutually beneficial because the students really enjoy preparing the food and those who go out on the deliveries love chatting to the clients.

“Likewise, the clients get a lovely fresh-cooked meal delivered on a plate and they get to build up friendships with the delivery team.”

The service currently has 30 volunteer drivers on the books and Waitrose provides a vehicle from Monday to Thursday for the first delivery run of the day.

Mrs Newson is keen to hear from potential new volunteers and is also on the lookout for villages that could provide outreach kitchens to expand the service in the new year.. Call 01787 313691.

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