Boost is needed for meals on wheels

Dave Laithwaite of Lancashire Fayre and Councillor Peter Wilson trying some of the dishes on offer.
Dave Laithwaite of Lancashire Fayre and Councillor Peter Wilson trying some of the dishes on offer.
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Fewer people than expected have signed up for a meals-on-wheels service in Chorley.

A total of £30,000 was set aside for the service by Chorley Council in its 2014/15 budget.

But it only actually spent £6,000 during the year.

During that period, 9,812 meals were delivered to 177 people living around the borough.

Coun Alistair Bradley, council leader, said: “We want people to enjoy healthy meals throughout the week so this service is being provided to make things that bit easier for people who live alone or find it difficult to spend time preparing meals.

“We were pleased with the initial take-up but numbers are remaining steady and not increasing as much as we would like.”

Now, the council is running an introductory half-price offer and subsiding more meals to encourage people to sign up.

The meals were originally subsidised for three days per week – costing £3.65 for a main meal and dessert instead of £4.25 – and that has increased to five days per week.

So far this year, 117 people have used the meals-on-wheels service.

Coun Bradley said: “We put £30,000 in the budget so we could accommodate a large take-up – I’m pleased with the numbers we’ve had but I’d like to see more people using it. It’s perhaps because some people aren’t aware of it.

“To help increase take up we have created an introductory offer and increased the number of days that the meals are subsidised.

“It’s not only a case of people getting a meal delivered and that’s it – the people who take the meals will also set the table, make a brew and also get things in such as a newspaper or milk so it can be really beneficial.”

The meals-on-wheels service was introduced in 2013 as a pilot in some of Chorley’s outlying villages.

After a successful trial, it was rolled out to the rest of the borough in July last year.

The service allows people to order a hot meal, delivered to their dining table at lunchtime, seven days per week.

It is available to people living in the Chorley borough who fall into three of six categories: living alone; over 65 years old; unable to prepare hot food; and having a medical condition, mental health problems or physical difficulties that prevent them preparing food themselves.

To find out more about the meals-on-wheels service, call the service provider Lancashire Fayre on 01257 367630.