Charity offering meal delivery service to Richmondshire’s elderly

Age UK kitchen team makes meals for Richmondshire residents.

A charity is still taking orders for Christmas meals for the elderly which are delivered by volunteers, and is appealing for donations of gift boxes for its customers.

Age UK Darlington and North Yorkshire is asking people to make up a gift box, no bigger than a shoe box, which Age UK will give to a lonely older person.

The charity supports older people that live alone and have no family or friends nearby. Many are so isolated that they can go for weeks without speaking to another soul.

Helen Hunter, chief executive of Age UK Darlington and North Yorkshire, said: “Donating a gift box is a cheap and simple way of spreading some festive cheer and really making an older person’s Christmas more special.

“There are many items that people can donate from biscuits and chocolate to mugs and books.”

Ms Hunter added: “There are many other things people can do to help older people in the community, such as calling in to see if they need anything or helping out via our befriending service or else becoming a volunteer driver, delivering our Meals at Home service throughout Darlington and Richmondshire.”

The charity’s Meals at Home service was set up in 2020 to provide older people with a catered meal from kitchen to home.

The service, which has the capacity to dish out up to 100 meals a day, provides a varied set menu of home-made and wholesome food.

This year at Christmas the charity is delivering meals right up to Christmas Eve with a hot meal or cold prepared meals to heat up for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

A team of dedicated volunteers will deliver the meals daily to many of our most in need older people. The service provides a lifeline to not only those older people living alone but also directly to more social settings such as day care centres. The volunteers provide a vital social connection for often lonely or isolated people too.

Christmas and New Year meals can be ordered up to 11am on Thursday, December 22.

To order, call 01325 741 492.

People can drop gift boxes off at the charity’s Darlington Headquarters at Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington DL1 5SX; or else call their hotline on 0300 30 20 100 to find out how to get involved.