MELKSHAM Community Meals has found a new home, saving the service – for vulnerable and isolated older people – from closure.
The popular service served its last meal at the Assembly Hall last week, and will now move to Spencer Sports & Social Club, Beanacre Road, from Sunday 1st December.
The service, which is supported by volunteers, has been running at the Assembly Hall since February this year following a successful campaign, led by Sue Mortimer, to continue the service after it was axed by Wiltshire Council in December last year.
Speaking to Melksham News, Sue said, “It’s disappointing that we have to move out of the town centre, but we are very grateful for the offer that Ray Edwards from Spencer’s has given us.
“At Spencer’s we will be open and serving food from 12pm to 2pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, every week – so people will always know where we are. At the Assembly Hall we had to swap and change dates to accommodate events. We are really grateful for Ray’s offer. I was fearing that we would have to close, so it’s nice that we haven’t folded and have an opportunity to continue somewhere else.
“Our users are pleased that the service hasn’t folded – although some are disappointed that they have to go out of town. But apart from the locality, Spencer’s does really tick all the boxes. There’s lots of car parking there for those that drive. And we are making arrangements for those that walk there – so we are talking to local taxi drivers and will approach Melksham & District Link to see if they are able to help.”
The move to Spencer’s has been prompted by the end of Melksham Community Meals’ rental agreement with the town council. The service launched in February with the support of the town council who waived the rent for the first three months, and then offered a reduced rent up until the end of October.
Sue said, “We had the support of the town council from the beginning and if we didn’t have their support we wouldn’t have been able to get up and running again.
“It was always known that it was never going to be a long term solution at the Assembly Hall, so I have to thank the town council for supporting us in the first place.”
As Melksham Community Meals prepares for the move to Spencer’s, Sue has paid tribute to the team of volunteers who have made the service possible.
“I would like to give a big thank you to all the amazing volunteers who have over the past eight months volunteered over 1,000 hours between them.’
“As our service is increasing from two regular days to three at Spencer’s, I would love to hear from anyone who would like to join the team and volunteer for washing up, waitering, taking orders, or simply meeting and greeting our users.”
For more information about Melksham Community Meals or to enquire about volunteering, call Sue on 07719 935883.