A community initiative in South East Northumberland aimed at providing Sunday lunches for vulnerable and isolated people during lockdown has extended its services into the Tyne Valley.
The Masonic Meals on Wheels Service began at the start of lockdown and has grown in both popularity and need. Under strict social distancing rules, members of masonic lodges attend Ashington Masonic Hall every Sunday to collect freshly cooked meals which are then promptly delivered to those in need. The service is growing week by week with meals being delivered to elderly freemasons and their widows from Morpeth to North Shields and now across to Wylam, Ovingham and Throckley. Each delivery includes soup and a Sunday roast.
Organised by Freemasons Paul Dunning and Jim Grant, the free “Meals on Wheels” service has received funding totalling £20,000 from the Northumberland Mark Benevolence Fund and Northumberland Freemasons. The service isn’t simply about delivering meals, it’s about connecting people who perhaps don’t see anyone else during the week and letting them know that others care about them.
The Tyne Valley service already has three volunteers, Mike Ewart and Colin Lonie from Wylam and Phil Sanderson from Heddon on the Wall who are delivering each Sunday. It is hoped that when more volunteers come onboard the service will be extended to Hexham and the west.
“Delivering the food is a very worthwhile experience. We are connecting with people who are socially isolated and vulnerable. In some cases, we are the only contact they have with the outside world,” said Mr Ewart.
For more information about the scheme contact Paul Dunning on 07590 647681
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