Whittleey feeds the community. Photo: Whittlesey Sports AssociationWhittleey feeds the community. Photo: Whittlesey Sports Association
Whittleey feeds the community. Photo: Whittlesey Sports Association

Coronavirus: Whittlesey restaurants, businesses and volunteers team up to supply delicious meals for the most vulnerable

It was week three and it was sausage and mash, peas and onion gravy on the menu at the Falcon Hotel in London Street, Whittlesey, as the owner Colin Wilson cooks and serves 165 meals for the elderly and those in greatest need thanks to the generosity of local businesses and establishments.

Deborah Slator, chair of the Whittlesey and District Business Forum, has co-ordinated the initiative which has doubled the number of hot meals in the three weeks of operation which is delivered to those Whittlesey residents by a team of 12 dedicated volunteers.

This week’s food has been sponsored by St Andrew’s church hall, with the church itself relying on financial support having dipped into its coffers to ensure this project gets the quality food and backing to benefit the local community.

So far, 400 sausages, 100kg of potatoes, 20kg of peas and a sack of onions have been provided, Colin, who had an early start to the day, thanked Sue Harrison of Chippy Sues who helped by peeling the potatoes in her specialised rumbling machine. ‘

Volunteers also made the brownies and from next week Tracy McIntosh from The Muffin Oven will be making a little treat every week to go with the meal. 

At 4pm the team of volunteer drivers arrive and in military precision collect their destination ticket, hot food and out they go ensuring those in need are being supported.

Deborah has been delighted with the success of the scheme so far. She said: “These are tough times but to see the local community rally around and for those businesses also lending a hand shows what a great town Whittlesey is.

“I would like to thank Freemans who supported our first week of cottage pies followed by NISA who sponsored the chicken casserole in week two. Next week its lasagne. We have plans in the pipeline for other days including fish and chips on Fridays.”

Despite the current tough times in the pub and hotel industry, Colin who has been in charge for nine years, has arranged a takeaway service for Sunday lunch where customers can call the Falcon Hotel on 01733 351001 on the Saturday evening. They can then collect their dinner between noon and 2pm on the Sunday for £8.50 a head.

Those who have benefitted from the free meals on Wednesdays have either been nominated as those who would benefit the most, or you can make direct contact with Deborah on 07843383368.

Julie Jeffryes, senior co-ordinator at Healthy Fenland, said: “If anybody would like a wellbeing phone call from Care Network they can offer a weekly check and chat call or a more supportive wellbeing call where they can talk in more depth about emotional wellbeing with trained support staff.

“They know that just talking to somebody different can lift people’s mood enormously. Their Help at Home team are also able to help support with essential shopping or prescription pick-ups, and their community navigators can help connect to other support available in local communities.”

For wellbeing support call 0330 094 57450.

Help at Home: 01223 714433.

Fenland Community Navigators: 01354 695208.

Support is available seven days a week: Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

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