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End of the road for Grassington Meals on Wheels
11:30am Friday 20th July 2012 in News
A service that provides meals for housebound residents is ending in Grassington .
A cut in funding means that Meals on Wheels will no longer be making deliveries after next Thursday, July 26.
The service is subsidised by North Yorkshire County Council, but local volunteers make the deliveries.
Margaret Rymer – who organises the Grassington service with other volunteers – said: “We’d like to thank all those past and present who have freely given their time to maintain the deliveries over the years.
“We have met a wide range of people and situations and we shall miss these lunch-time encounters.”
“The service has been in this area almost 40 years, but the people who receive this service realise that this had to happen. It is just unfortunate it’s one of the cutbacks.”
Mrs Rymer, 75, of Grassington, said at one time the county’s Meals on Wheels helped about 30 housebound residents living in Grassington, Linton, Threshfield, Conistone and other villages in the area.
That number has since dwindled to five.
Volunteers provide six meals per week which are delivered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Although recipients would miss the meals, Mrs Rymer said that the visits from volunteers were just as important to the residents.
“These people not only look forward to receiving the meals, but they also look forward to people calling in.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council’s health and adult services said: “Over the years we have seen a reduction in demand for meals services as there are alternatives available from other sources, providing people with greater choice in prepared meals.
“For this reason, when faced with the requirement to contribute towards the £69 million in savings which the council must find as a result of funding cutbacks, it was decided to withdraw the subsidy from home-delivered meals. This provides a saving of approximately £136,000 a year.
“However, we do recognise that some residents in the county need a hot meal delivered and for this reason we have been working with a number of organisations, such as Age UK and the WRVS, to maintain a service where necessary.
“In the Grassington area, it was agreed that the provider of the meals and the volunteers who deliver them would see if a viable service could continue, if that was the desire of the people who receive them.
“However it is our experience that most people are able to prepare meals bought from a supermarket, or by one of the private companies which provide ready meals, in their own kitchens.
“We would expect that people who are unable to carry out tasks such as using a microwave oven would normally be receiving support for other aspects of their lives, which would extend to the preparation of hot meals.”