Farewell meals on wheels

Redbridge Council is pulling the plug on its meals on wheels service from next week – but has offered elderly residents advice on how to use online supermarkets instead.

The service will end on 31 July following increasing costs and a decline in demand. The council decided in January it could no longer afford to run the service.

Instead it has set out a range of alternatives, including private meal services, online supermarkets, and lunch clubs including the Age UK service at the Corner House.

One furious Wansteadium reader, whose mother will now no longer receive meals, wrote:

“Meals on Wheels supplies far more than a nutritious meal; the daily visit from the cheery Meals on Wheels delivery folk is often the only human contact many of our elderly folk get. Meals on Wheels not only fights malnutrition but loneliness as well, boosting mental wellbeing alongside physical health. People who would otherwise live in care homes can continue to lead independent lives in their own homes, incidentally saving money for the taxpayer. Damaging the physical and mental well being of our elderly folk puts more pressure on our hospitals and NHS staff, negating any savings Redbridge Council may claim they are making. Maintaining good nutrition and the human contact that comes with this, is vital when ensuring that our elderly are able to live independently in good health for as long as possible. Cutting this service puts vulnerable, elderly members of the community at risk and will also end up costing the country far more money.

Redbridge did not respond to our requests for comment, but did tell the reader that an assessment of each user was taking place. Its press release says:

Where the assessment identifies that the needs of the person using the service have increased, arrangements will be made to ensure that support is in place to provide the help they need to source, prepare and eat a meal ensuring their nutritional needs are met on a daily basis. This may require a package of care to be put in place.

It’s not completely clear what this might involve.



Tank please

Wanstead Community Gardeners write:

“Many of you have admired the two old metal water tanks filled with flowers which are currently brightening up the corner of Mansfield Road. Wanstead Community Gardeners are planing a similar project outside Wanstead Underground Station and have been donated a water tank which is ready for planting. We need at least one more tank to place beside it and would love to hear from you if you have an old metal water tank to donate to this project. For which you will, of course, deserve our undying tanks. You can contact us on wanstead.community.gardeners@gmail.com.”

Wanstead’s Santander branch to close

Santander has written to its Wanstead customers to tell them that their branch is to close in November. It’s just the latest bank to pull out of Wanstead High Street and leaves only the Nationwide and NatWest standing. Santander staff, the letter says, will be redeployed to other branches (Leytonstone).


Bread volunteers

Gail’s bakery, due to open next month on Wanstead High Street, is inviting volunteers to take part in distribution of unsold bread each day to charities and people in need.

A spokesman for the bakery said: “Gail’s will be putting their surplus bakes, which are freshly made on site, to good use, partnering with local charities to feed hungry families and neighbours. With the aim of having surplus food donated to local charities every day, Gail’s hopes that friends of the bakery will get involved by volunteering to deliver leftover goodies to those in need.”

Large windows are currently being fitted to the former Barclays bank – but instead of being a modernisation to the building, it appears it’s at least in part a restoration of original features.

The company’s planning application states: