Dedicated Carol to retire from meal delivery work after 16 years

Carol Duff, from Ipswich, is retiring after 16 years with Suffolk Meals on Wheels

Carol Duff has been delivering for Meals on Wheels since 2005 and will retire after 16 years. - Credit: Steve Duff

An Ipswich grandmother who has delivered more than 100,000 meals to those at home is set to retire after 16 years. 

Carol Duff joined Suffolk Meals on Wheels, now run by Aspect Living, in 2005 after being inspired by a neighbour. 

After leaving her role as a teaching assistant at Gusford Primary School she went for an interview at Meals on Wheels and has been doing it "every day since". 

Carol's daughter-in-law Susan Elliott-Duff said it was a running joke within the family that she never finished on time because of going the "extra mile" for customers. 

Working five days a week and delivering more than 30 meals some days, the 64-year-old has transported more than 100,000 meals. 

Carol said: "I do shopping for people. With Covid, I have been doing the shopping for them and making sure they are OK. I enjoy meeting people, it's the satisfaction you get when you walk in and they are pleased to see you. For some of them, you're the only person they see that day. Within two to three weeks I thought I do like doing this.

"We work all days of the year, 365 days of the year. We work Christmas Day and New Year's Day."

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When she is working Christmas, husband Steven is on hand to make sure her own dinner is ready from when she comes in from delivering the meal, Christmas cracker and presents to clients.

Carol said: "You do build a close bond with the families and the people and going into their homes all the time you get to know them and if they are not well, you can tell by their voice or by looking at them if they are not right.

"You do build up a good relationship."

The 64-year-old said of the pandemic: "It's a bit daunting but we were working through the whole time through all three lockdowns. 

"They still go their meals and we were able to go in. They were so very grateful, families were grateful their relatives still got their meals." 

With her last day to be confirmed, Carol will be swapping the meal run for looking after her grandchildren, aged between two and seven. 

Of her meals on wheels role, she said: "I wholly recommend it, it's such a rewarding job. 

"I've been doing it for 16 years, now is the time."