Extra hands are needed to support a new meals on wheels style service for elderly and vulnerable people in Nidderdale.
Darley Good Neighbours Meals on Wheels Service is appealing for volunteer drivers who can help meet the growing demand for hot lunches from the Darley Shop, Post Office and Cafe after the service was launched last Monday.
The Darley Shop project secured £10,000 to install a new commercial kitchen from North Yorkshire County Council’s Stronger Communities Programme, the funds however came with a condition that a volunteer delivery service be trialed.
Now deliveries are being made to 20 residents by 8 drivers on Mondays and Thursdays across Darley, Menwith, Thornthwaite, Dacre Banks and Dacre Top.
Coordinator of Darley Good Neighbours Volunteer Driver Scheme Helen Flynn said: “This is an innovative scheme that is allowing local needs to be responded to.
“The food is prepared locally and the delivery is done by a local group, it is personal and not a faceless way of doing this.
“This has appealed to people interested in the social aspect of it, a lot of nurses and ex-nurses signed up. We are appealing for anyone to get involved, but it definitely holds an appeal for
people who understand that sometimes people need extra help.”
Meals are prepared on the day at the shop and include a hot meal and pudding, costing £4.50.
Any extra meals are then sold in the shop. The group believe the approach could mean the service could pay for itself and become sustainable.
Mrs Flynn hopes the work done by the service could one day become the groundwork for similar schemes across the area.
She said: “I got involved in the scheme because I saw there was a need for the service in the village.
“It has been hard and I was a little unsure at first, but we have seen the numbers of people who want this so it is obviously needed and we want to make sure that it works.
“That is why we need drivers so we can do what we can.”
All drivers have to have been DBS checked and to have undertaken safeguarding training in order to work with elderly and vulnerable people.
If you would like to find out more about the Darley Good Neighbours Volunteer Driver Scheme contact Helen Flynn at email@example.com