Volunteers to deliver even more hot meals to vulnerable residents in Sudbury

The Bridge Project food delivery service at Bradbury Courtyard in Sudbury. Boyd Robinson (left) and

The Bridge Project food delivery service at Bradbury Courtyard in Sudbury. Boyd Robinson (left) and Kyle Ellis prepare to deliver the food. - Credit: Archant

They already deliver around 170 hot meals each week to vulnerable people in Sudbury, but volunteers at a local charity are keen to expand the service they offer beyond the town.

From its Bradbury Courtyard premises in Gainsborough Street, the Bridge Project runs the initiative which caters for elderly people who are housebound or too unwell to get out.

Set up in 2011, it grew out of a lunch club at the project’s café and now carries out lunchtime runs Monday to Friday, delivering to homes within Sudbury and Great Cornard.

Throughout the year, the local Waitrose supermarket provides a van to help deliver the meals. The partnership between Waitrose and charity earned them the High Sheriff’s first-ever ‘Suffolk Corporate Community Partnership of the Year Award’ earlier this year. The current High Sheriff, Judith Shallow, was so impressed, she has volunteered to go out on a delivery run with Bridge Project volunteers later this month.

Deborah Thomas, operations manager at the project, said the hot meals had become so successful they were now looking to trial the service in Long Melford in the new year.

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She said: “We are delighted to announce that, owing to a continual increase in demand, we will soon be delivering lunches for older residents in Long Melford.

“After expanding into Cornard in the south of Sudbury, Long Melford seemed the logical next area for us to trial the service.”

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The charity is currently seeking volunteer drivers to help with the deliveries, especially during the busy winter months and just before Christmas when the Waitrose van is unavailable.

Mrs Thomas added: “We are keen to recruit new volunteer drivers to go out with a Bridge Project member of staff so we can send out more rounds at the same time.

“It isn’t just a case of providing a meal – we also keep any eye out and check on the welfare of the clients. The volunteers build up a rapport with them and it really does make a difference to their lives.”

Anyone interested in offering an hour or two each month can call the volunteer co-ordinator Zoe Richardson, on 01787 313691.

Meanwhile a leaflet drop will be carried out in Long Melford and any residents interested in being included in the trial – or elderly residents in the Sudbury area who would enjoy having a hot home-cooked meal delivered to them – can call Deborah Thomas on 01787 313691. Visit www.thebridgeproject.co.uk for menu information.

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