Hundreds of new volunteers are helping Jewish Care feed and befriend elderly people
PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 April 2020
Jewish Care have had more than 630 new volunteers step in to help them quadruple their Meals on Wheels deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.
The chefs and catering team together with redeployed staff at Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre are now making hundreds of meals a day for volunteers to deliver to older people.
The staff are ensuring that meals are being delivered to older, isolated people from communities in Essex and London.
Danielle Krist, 28, an English teacher at Braeside School in Buckhurst Hill was eager to help out in her spare time.
“I found myself with some spare time on my hands in between online teaching so I wanted to help out.
“Both my grandparents used Meals on Wheels when they were alive. They also went to Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre. It meant so much to them so I couldn’t think of a better organisation to volunteer for.
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“I think it’s important to give back to the community - especially those who need it the most and to look after those who once looked after us.
“The clients know when I’ll be coming so I ring the doorbell, leave the meals in the pre-arranged place and then check that they have come to the door to get them. I stay to chat to them, standing a good four metres away, because I know that I am most likely the only person many of them will see that day.”
Sylvie, 84, from Clayhall, usually goes to Ladies Who Lunch to chat and play cards with friends at the Centre said: “The Meals on Wheels are a great help and they are working so hard in the office to get them out to everyone. I’m getting more than I did before, with everything that’s going on and I’m really pleased to be getting my meals.
“The other day one of the volunteers at the Centre called me to see how I was getting on.”
King Solomon High School assistant head teacher, Melanie Shutz, is also volunteering: “Some people are so isolated that they may not open their mouths to speak all day unless they get a call from a befriender.”
Chief Executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown, added: “Dealing with the outbreak has been like a restructure overnight. We had to transform operations into a very different set of services.”
Visit www.jewishcare.org/jewishhomesemergencyappeal to donate.
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