MEALS ON WHEELS NEEDS YOUR HELP
THINKING back on what has meant the most to you in the past 12 months, what do you see?
More time spent with family or giving back to community?
It’s a question Meals on Wheels Dubbo manager Peter English would ask Dubbo residents to seriously consider as National Meals on Wheels Day approaches on Wednesday, August 28.
“This year’s not a huge milestone year for us, we’ve only operated for 56 years, but it is a year of reflection. We all lead very busy lives; we’ve got to stop and think about what’s important,” Mr English told Dubbo Photo News.
For Dubbo residents who receive a hot meal each day, especially during winter, the value of Meals on Wheels is not just measured in meals but as a reliable way to stay connected to community.
Boyce Chartered Accountants Dubbo staff members Samantha Bravenboer and Peter Graham are regular volunteers with the service.
“I only started doing it last year. I really enjoy it and being able to help older residents out,” Ms Bravenboer said.
“It’s a good opportunity to do something. There’s not much to do to sign up and it takes less than an hour usually to deliver the meals. In a worst-case scenario, without volunteers some of the recipients would just go hungry,” Mr Graham said.
Former local barber Bob Macdougal is a regular recipient of the service.
“I’ve been using the service for 20 or 25 years,” the 87-year-old said. “I get it five days a week, Mondays to Fridays. I find it quite satisfactory.”
Mr English hopes that, on reflection, more volunteers who are hoping to give back to the Dubbo community in some way will come forward.
“Our volunteers are our eyes and ears. Some of them have been volunteering for 30, 40, even 50plus years. They know the people they’re delivering the meals to. They are family friends of their parents, an old school teacher, or somebody in the shops that they knew as a young child, so it’s very much giving back to community.
“They like that engagement of giving back to people who also gave back to community when they were younger,” he explained.
“We’re one of the last Meals on Wheels that do a hot meal. It is very easy to deliver frozen meals once a week or once a fortnight to people, but it doesn’t fit with our ethos to just deliver a meal or a bunch of meals and forget about the client for one week or two weeks.
“All it takes is a phone call. You can volunteer as little or as much as you want,” Mr English said. “We have a few businesses that volunteer once a month.”
To enquire about how to support Meals on Wheels Dubbo call 6882 4083.
Boyce Chartered Accountants staff members Samantha Bravenboer and Peter Graham with Meals on Wheels client Bob Macdougal, 87, who is about to enjoy a hot meal while reading the local paper. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS