Snow and ice don’t stop Hertfordshire’s meals on wheels

Snow falls on driver Jon Renney at Hertfordshire Independent Living Service's Letchworth site. Picture: HILS

Snow falls on driver Jon Renney at Hertfordshire Independent Living Service's Letchworth site. Picture: HILS

Archant

The week’s snow and ice haven’t stopped Hertfordshire’s meals on wheels from reaching their destinations, as everyone signed up has received their hot food.

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service's fleet in the snow at the Letchworth depot. Picture: HILS Hertfordshire Independent Living Service's fleet in the snow at the Letchworth depot. Picture: HILS

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service, which delivers the county’s meals on wheels service to older and vulnerable members of the community, has delivered more than 1,500 meals a day this week from its sites at Letchworth, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Ware.

Emergency protocols have been put in place amid the Siberian weather, with 4x4 charities and neighbours on standby to help reach people in more rural areas.

Those out taking the food through the sub-zero conditions have included Phil Preston, who has delivered meals on wheels for more than 15 years.

“Clients are always really grateful, and you can see how much our service is needed by the elderly and vulnerable in ice and snow like this,” he said.

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service's Phil Preston loads up at the Letchworth depot. Picture: HILS Hertfordshire Independent Living Service's Phil Preston loads up at the Letchworth depot. Picture: HILS

“Lots of our clients wouldn’t have access to a hot meal without us bringing it to them. We always get through, whatever the weather.

“I’m proud to work for such a valuable and worthwhile community service, and the satisfaction you get knowing everyone is safe and well fed.”

The Letchworth depot serves North Herts and Stevenage, while Ware is the base for deliveries to East Herts, Welwyn and Broxbourne. Hatfield is served by the St Albans depot, and Hemel Hempstead covers Dacorum, Watford and Three Rivers.

Letchworth has despatched at least 350 meals a day, while St Albans has delivered 280 or more each day. The biggest number from a single site in a day has been the 509 sent out from Ware on Monday.

Hertfordshire Independent Living Service chief executive Sarah Wren lends a hand at the Letchworth site. Picture: HILS Hertfordshire Independent Living Service chief executive Sarah Wren lends a hand at the Letchworth site. Picture: HILS

Those mucking in to help have included HILS chief executive Sarah Wren, who said she would like to thank all the not-for-profit body’s “incredible teams”.

“We delivered hot meals to all of our elderly and vulnerable clients in the ice and snow, many of whom are bed or housebound, and without our service may not have had a hot meal or seen a friendly face,” she said.

“It wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team members, and the support we receive from 4x4 charities including Hertfordshire 4x4 Response Team.”

If you have a 4x4 and could help deliver meals and wheels in the county’s more rural areas in the snow, get involved by calling 01462 678423 or emailing info@hertsindependentliving.org.

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