Meals on wheels is a vital service for elderly and isolated people in the community

Wednesday, 7 November 2018 Meals on wheels is a vital service for elderly and isolated people in the community

A Meal on Wheels service has become a lifeline to some of Barrow’s elderly and most isolated people with its volunteers delivering not only hearty meals three times a day but also providing company and support.

The service, which is run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), was started in April 2014 with 23 clients on the books growing to an impressive 50 to 66 clients per day.

Staff boxing up a roast dinner for the service.png

There are two volunteers per route, each day, who dedicate up to three hours a day to deliver meals over a 46-mile radius covering the Barrow area. The area includes  North Scale, Holbeck, Roose and other surrounding areas.

Charles Elliott, of Barrow, has volunteered for the hospital-led service for the past four years and volunteered for the service for 16 years when it was run by Cumbria County Council.

Mr Elliott said: “I really enjoy volunteering for the service and meeting all of the different customers every day. I think the service is vital for local people and I would encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to give it a try – it is very rewarding.”

Customer Harry Clarke, of Barrow, who has received Meals on Wheels for the past few months, added: “The service is very good and the volunteers are all lovely – they are very good company. I can’t praise the food highly enough – my favourite dishes so far have been the roast dinners and toad in the hole.”

A team of six catering staff at Furness General Hospital (FGH) devote two to three hours a day to make the lunches, using freshly sourced products from local suppliers. Some of the dishes include meat and potato pie, Cumberland sausage with creamed potatoes and roast dinner. They also offer specialist diets for people who are gluten free, require a soft consistency diet or a puree diet.

Tracy Litt, Catering Manager for FGH and Westmorland General Hospital, said: “The service that is provided by the Trust is a vital service to our community and it allows clients to stay in their own homes and be looked after. It also gives families or close relatives peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving a nutritious meal every day.

 “We have a variety of clients. Some that have been there from the beginning and others who are just about to come out of hospital and as part of their care plan they may only use the community meals for a couple of weeks. We like to know that our service is there for those clients that need that extra support.

“Our service is totally reliant on our fantastic volunteers who without them giving up their own time to deliver the meals we would not be able to continue this valuable service.”

You can watch our video on the Meals on Wheels service here

The service is always looking for more volunteers to help it expand. If you can spare a few hours to volunteer each week please contact Tracy on or 01229491001.


Further information

For further press information please contact our Communications Team on 01539 716675 or e-mail


What's happening at the Trust

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay - NHS Foundation Trust Image Map