Over the last year, we have been growing our meals on wheels services into new areas to reach more people who need help. HILS now directly support over 20,000 clients, as well as providing indirect support and comfort to their carers and loved ones.
Since October 2022, HILS team members have been visiting the homes of an additional 1,000 people per year across West Sussex and in parts of Bedfordshire. Then in October of this year, we took on an existing meals service in Hampshire with the support of the County Council. With this latest expansion, we were joined by a 50-strong team of dedicated colleagues, supporting over 1,800 clients across the Hampshire County Council region. We are delighted to have been able to prevent the closure of this service, which is a lifeline to many local residents.
Sadly, meals on wheels services across the country are closing down due to a lack of funding and increased delivery costs, there are now many areas in the UK where people have no meals on wheels at all. These services are hugely important for reducing social isolation, and offering people an affordable and accessible way to receive a hot nutritious meal when they need it.
“For many people, meals on wheels is a lifeline that helps them stay living independently at home, and provides peace of mind for family members who are reassured that their loved one is being visited and is eating well.’ Says HILS’ Chief Executive, Sarah Wren. “It’s not just about the food, although that is extremely important, it’s also about relationships and showing the most vulnerable people in our communities that that they are valued and cared for. It is an honour to now be supporting thousands more people to maintain their health and independence.”