Friday, 23 July 2010

Hot meals at home service extended to seven days a week

The council’s meals on wheels service has changed this month and now provides hot meals to its customers on seven rather than just four days a week.

Since 1 July, eligible customers across the city have been able to choose to have a hot meal delivered to their home every day of the week, 365 days a year if they wish. The new service provides meals which are freshly cooked in special vehicles on their way to customer’s homes, instead of being cooked en masse and kept warm for long periods of time. The scheme was piloted in the north east of the city about 18 months ago, and was so well received that it has now been rolled out across the whole city.

Voluntary sector partners that currently deliver meals on behalf of the council were invited to apply for contracts for the new seven day service in autumn 2009.

One such organisation is the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), who have been delivering meals in Otley and Poole for many years. They were successful in their application for a contract and have been awarded two new routes; Wetherby and Armley. The routes that they were previously delivering to have been taken over by the council with no disruption to service.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“Hot, tasty, nourishing food is a vitally important part of achieving and maintaining a healthy and happy old age.

“The new meals at home service is part of our commitment to improving standards of care for people in Leeds, and I'm delighted that our customers can now get a hot meal delivered to them seven days a week if that’s what they want. Families and carers will also benefit from greater peace of mind in the knowledge that someone is visiting their relative every day of the week.”

Mrs Sue Hinchcliffe, who has a hot meal delivered to her home five days a week, said:
"Having a hot meal delivered more often has been really good for me. The meals are very enjoyable and there are plenty of different things to choose from. The quality is still very good and I am extremely happy with the service and the lady that brings my meals to me."

Sue Collins, WRVS head of service for Yorkshire and Humber said:
"Our volunteers have provided a fantastic service for older people in Otley, and we would like to thank them for making it such a success.

"We're sad that we won't be continuing to provide meals on wheels in Otley, but very pleased to be running two other seven day a week rounds in Leeds. We're confident that the council's meals on wheels service will be well received by customers in Otley, and have worked together to make sure that the changeover went smoothly."

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds students join Prince Charles at commemoration ceremony


Caption: Young people from Leeds meet Prince Charles


Caption: Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress meet Prince Charles

Young people from Leeds gathered with The Prince of Wales in France this week to pay tribute to soldiers who fell in the First World War.

The service was held at the Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial in northern France, to pay tribute to the contribution of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu soldiers from the British Indian Army during the First World War.

The young people aged between 14 and 17, were accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor James McKenna and the Lady Mayoress at a commemoration ceremony held on Monday 19 July.

They remembered and honoured over 4,000 Indian soldiers with no known grave, who lost their lives at the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle in 1915, alongside 7,000 British soldiers.

During the ceremony, Prince Charles was invited to lay a wreath given to him by a student from Allerton Grange School and a moving poem was recited, which one of the students wrote to mark this occasion.

Their Royal Highnesses were also presented with visual art and poetry prepared by students at the school and by a youth group from the Burley, Seacroft, Beeston and Morley areas of Leeds, who are acting as arts ambassadors for the city, supported by Youth Point and the Find Your Talent programme.

One piece of art consisted of numerous painted panels that, placed side by side, spelled the word ‘memory’, which the arts ambassadors produced jointly with students from Turin, Italy and Leeds’ partner city Lille, France. This was created as part of the two week Lille International Artistic Residency – a unique cultural exchange that encourages an openness to other cultures, a spirit of solidarity and respect for diversity.

The long-standing Leeds-Lille partnership dates back to 1968 and has brought many such opportunities to involve young people in exciting and valuable cross-cultural learning exchanges.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Jim McKenna said:
“I am delighted that the active partnership with Lille, has resulted in young people from Leeds being invited to represent the UK at this important memorial service and gain this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“The ceremony at Neuve-Chapelle has provided a great opportunity for our young people to learn the lessons from both of the World War conflicts and to honour the memory of the commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives.”

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk