The Bradbury Centre is providing free hot meals

The Centre is now providing around 250 meals per week free of charge to homes in the Creich, Ardgay and Lairg areas

Different stages of the hot meal delivery service, with Bradbury staff and volunteers working 5 days a week instead of 4. Photos © Bradbury Centre, Bonar Bridge
Different stages of the hot meal delivery service, with Bradbury staff and volunteers working 5 days a week instead of 4. Photos © Bradbury Centre, Bonar Bridge
Different stages of the hot meal delivery service, with Bradbury staff and volunteers working 5 days a week instead of 4. Photos © Bradbury Centre, Bonar Bridge
Different stages of the hot meal delivery service, with Bradbury staff and volunteers working 5 days a week instead of 4. Photos © Bradbury Centre, Bonar Bridge

The Bradbury Centre closed to clients on the 18th of March. The decision to close was taken after much deliberation, management felt that it was the right course of action at that time. As soon as we closed, we put in place a support network for our local clients to make sure they could get shopping, prescriptions etc. delivered to their home, we also decided to extend this service to the local community. After the initial shock of the closure it was decided to furlough three members of staff and continue to work with a skeleton staff of three, this gave us a breathing space as we were unsure of what funding would become available.

For the first week of close-down we put posters out in the local shops to let people know that we were still open (operating five days a week rather than the normal four) and here to help with deliveries of shopping, prescriptions etc. also providing a hot meal to those clients who required one, this was at the same rate as they would normally pay for lunch at the Bradbury. As word got out that we were providing this service, the numbers grew and we decided to contact Lairg through their lunch club to see if they had a need for this service. The KOSDT were given a budget to print flyers to advertise the services available in our area, with the help of our volunteers we delivered to every house in the Bonar Bridge and surrounding area with the KOSDT delivering to Ardgay area. This was a great way of finding out who in the community required the meals and the other services we are offering. We estimated that we would at most have 125 meals a week so decided to go for funding to enable us to provide the meals free of charge, this took away the issues with handling money. The first funder to support us was SSE Community Benefit fund this fund enabled us to take our cook off furlough and she returned to work on the 20th April, up until then we had Elizabeth Ross (Lippy) cooking assisted by Stephanie Campbell (Skibo chef) who has now become an invaluable part of our team volunteering 3 days a week. We are very lucky to have a band of volunteers who deliver meals, shopping, prescriptions, pick up fareshare etc., and also help with manning the telephone.

As the lockdown continues, the need for our service has continued to increase and we are now delivering around 250 meals per week.

Looking to the future we would envisage the centre being one of the last places to reopen due to the nature of our clients, but we would like to assure the community that we are going to provide our service the best way we can in the circumstances until the day we can resume our normal service.

A special thanks has to go to our bank of volunteers without whom we would be unable to deliver this service, also to all the funders who are supporting us. SSE, Scottish Government Support Communities Fund, Foundation Scotland (3RRs fund), Highland Council Resilience & Tesco Groundworks.

Funding will run out on the 10th of July but the centre will endeavour to continue our work by looking for other funders.

by Lorraine Askew

www.bradburycentre.co.uk / bradburydaycare@btconnect.com

Last Updated on 10 June, 2020 by Kyle Chronicle

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