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News: Number 10 Honours Meals On Wheels Service

Tuesday, 29th June 2004
(PR 1445)

Prime Minister Tony Blair has sent a special message of congratulations to Lancashire County Council Social Services' meals on wheels service following its recent Charter Mark award.

The meals on wheels service in Preston and East Lancashire has been awarded the prestigious accolade under the new criteria introduced this year. To celebrate, a special event was held at Woodlands conference centre in Chorley.

Stephen Priestley, Charter Mark assessor, presented the certificate to cabinet member for adult services and health, County Councillor Chris Cheetham.

Meals on Wheels co-ordinator, Josephine Ormerod of Lancashire Social Services, said:

"We are delighted that the service has been credited with the award and were particularly thrilled to receive a letter of congratulations from 10 Downing Street, signed by Tony Blair. The presentation has enabled meals on wheels staff to celebrate their achievements and to receive credit for the commitment and hard work they have shown to both the Directorate and service users."

The Meals on Wheels service is a fundamental part of Lancashire Social Service's response to care in the community and supporting people in their own homes. Its main purpose is to provide a delivery of meals to older and more vulnerable people across the county. Regular visits by delivery staff can also offer a means of keeping in touch with people and alert the Directorate to emergency situations.

Meals on Wheels currently provide meals to 6,450 people in Lancashire who have been assessed and referred for the service. This equates to just over 25,600 meals per week. The service supplies meals which can meet all nutritional, medical and religious dietary requirements.

Notes for Editors

The first Meals on Wheels service was started by the Women's Royal Voluntary Service in Welwyn Garden City. The meals were then delivered on prams and bicycles. In 1943, a cause for concern was how to keep the meals hot, so they used old felt hats, hay boxes and old blankets. `Meals on Wheels' was named from an American friend of Lady Reading, after beginning as the Pie Scheme.

For further information please contact: Andrew Lynn on 01772 534372

andrew.lynn@ssd.lancscc.gov.uk