Jewish Care Chanukah appeal brings light to the community

Leslie Barnett receives Jewish Care's Meals on Wheels service. Photo: Jewish Care

Leslie Barnett receives Jewish Care's Meals on Wheels service. Photo: Jewish Care - Credit: Archant

Jewish Care has launched an appeal to help fund the extra support for older people who are relying on the charity more heavily since the Covid-19 pandemic

Jewish Care is calling on the generosity of the community to help bring light to vulnerable people this Chanukah through its Meals on Wheels service.

Since March, the organisation’s chefs have been making more than double the amount of kosher meals for older people in the community. Delivered by dedicated volunteers, the meal service brings relief from social isolation and is a lifeline to those who rely on the charity.

Many people, like Leslie Barnett, 95, haven’t left the house since March and are reliant on the meal service each day. Leslie has lived on his own since his late wife, Angela, sadly passed away. He says: “I’m not used to being stuck at home on my own. Especially not for this long. Usually I go to the Jewish Care community centre at least once every week to see my friends. But I’m no spring chicken and my health isn’t what it was. So, I have to shelter at home to keep myself safe.

“Angela and I always loved to dance, and I’ve managed to keep up my dancing ever since. But, of course being stuck at home means I can’t do that. I found myself staring at the same four walls every day. I’ve never been much of a cook, though Angela used to let me do the vegetables sometimes if she was going to be late back from work. But that was years ago, and most of the time, all that is in my fridge are some empty boxes and a duster to clean it with.

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“Sadly, Angela and I were not blessed with children, so I don’t have any family of my own nearby.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Jewish Care chefs have made 33, 000 meals. As well as delivering a nutritious three-course meal, the charity’s volunteer delivery drivers check in with clients for a socially distanced chat and help alleviate social isolation. This Chanukah, Meals on Wheels recipients will also receive latkes, Chanukah candles, Chanukah cards and chocolate coins.

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However, the Meals on Wheels service receives no government funding and neither does the Jewish Care Direct Helpline, which has received 40 per cent more calls than normal since the first lockdown began.

Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care’s chief executive says: “We know the need for the unique help we provide for the entire Jewish community in London and the south east is growing all the time. But that help comes at a cost. Our Meals on Wheels service and Jewish Care Direct Helpline receives no government funding. We need to raise £5 million on top of the £16 million we already need to raise just to continue to provide care and support to the 10,000 lives we touch.

“With almost all of our fundraising events cancelled because of the pandemic, we are depending more than ever on the generosity of supporters. So please make a gift this Chanukah and help continue to bring light into the lives of more people like Leslie.”

To make a donation, visit For support and advice call the Jewish Care Helpline: 020 8922 2222.

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