A HOT meal delivery service set up by a charity that supports people with learning difficulties has had a “fantastic response” to a desperate plea for volunteer drivers.

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The Sudbury-based service, which operates from the Bridge Project at Bradbury Court, caters for elderly people who are housebound or too unwell to get out.

It does a lunchtime run between noon and 12.40pm, Monday to Friday, delivering home-cooked meals to houses within a 10-minute walk.

Throughout the year, the local Waitrose provides a van to help deliver the meals, but in the run up to Christmas, the store was unable to spare the vehicle. So Anesta Newson, who set up the initiative two years ago, put out an urgent call for drivers via the East Anglian Daily Times.

She said: “We have had a fantastic response and we feel really blessed by the number of people who have contacted us. As a result of the story, we now have more than 30 drivers on our books, which has enabled us to not only keep the service running smoothly up until Christmas, but also to expand the service that we offer all year round.”

According to Mrs Newsome – who was awarded an MBE last year for her charity work – demand for the service is growing.

She added: “Particularly at this time of year when the weather is cold, there is a real need for people to have a hot meal served up on a plate, which has been home-cooked rather than microwaved – it really does make a big difference to these people’s lives.

“Today was the first day back after Christmas and we have had dozens of new requests for meals which is brilliant. With the extra drivers we will certainly be able to extend the area we currently cover.”

Prospective volunteer drivers can call Anesta or Tanya on 01787 313691.

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