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Council should be ashamed of itself
11:32am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Letters
HAVING read your comments ref Hampshire County Council (HCC) funding cuts, I found that I must reply.
I am a paid employee of Andover Neighbourcare, my role is that of ‘Meals on Wheels cook’ for the past five years. HCC should be ashamed of itself, the service has been worked from St Ann’s hall in Andover for over 50 years.
Because of the way Meals on Wheels has been run, our most needy and elderly – some with dementia, others housebound – have had a wonderful safety net of care in which I have been proud to have played a very small part.
Meals delivered by WRVS volunteers have been delivered with care, compassion and respect. I have never heard the words “It’s not my job”. When a driver returns and reports “Today I found Mrs A stuck on the loo and after getting her into her armchair she was ready for her lunch” or “Mrs B is very unwell, she didn’t seem to know why I was there today.”
“Today I found Mr D ill in bed. I knew he was always home so I went round the back of the house and looked in the window. I called the ambulance and stayed with him until he was taken to hospital.”
Or it may just be “Today I changed a light bulb or took the rubbish out or posted a letter or rang BT and help sort out someone’s phone bill.”
When a volunteer reports a problem, help kicks in on the spot. Broken heating is reported on behalf of the person with dementia and someone is there to let the workman in!
With our OAPs living longer many have no next of kin.
Andover Meals on Wheels has always been a small, friendly, locally-run service.
It takes only moments to start the help that someone needs but can’t always manage themself.
What price can you put on a service like that? Felicity Hindson what price, I ask, can you put on the wonderful service given to someone’s mother or grandmother whose carer had gone on holiday and not been replaced on Monday who was found on Tuesday in a wet bed, naked and unable to get up unaided, who was washed, dressed, fed, and left warm and clean by one of our hardworking volunteers.
Volunteers are now having to deal with distressed and confused people who do not understand what is happening to their service. I’ve heard time and time again this week that ‘Mrs Z cried and I put my arms around her’.
These cuts have gone too far. We all understand hard times are here, but shame on you HCC, this service has slipped away because you are saving money on the most needy and voiceless vulnerable group in our community.
Belinda Legate Hepworth Close Andover