Dungog Meals on Wheel celebrates

Meals on Wheel coordinator Kim Windebank with retiring volunteers Jan Watkins and Sandra Deasey,  The ladies have served a combined 20 years of delivering meals around Dungog
Meals on Wheel coordinator Kim Windebank with retiring volunteers Jan Watkins and Sandra Deasey, The ladies have served a combined 20 years of delivering meals around Dungog

On Wednesday Meals on Wheels (MOW) Dungog celebrates the 61st National Meals on Wheels day with nearly 700 other services across Australia.

This occasion will recognise the work of all organisations with more than 75,000 volunteers across the nation.

In the course of a year, they deliver some 14 million meals to almost 60,000 people in cities, regional and rural areas.

Australian MOW association president Ron Welsh OAM said the day marks the progress made from humble beginnings in South Melbourne in 1953, where a lady on a tricycle delivered a few meals to local residents.

This year has a focus on the role MOW plays, by enriching and nourishing communities across Australia.

Receiving a knock and a nourishing meal it enables residents to remain living in their own home.

The volunteers provide an important community connection through calling at homes each day to provide a cheery welcome, daily contact and check that each valued client is safe and well, hence our national theme “More than just a meal”.

Volunteers Faye Morley and Kathryn Wittmann checking off the meal orders

Volunteers Faye Morley and Kathryn Wittmann checking off the meal orders

As part of the celebrations each organisation will deliver a promotional place mat with the client meal and each of these organisations will choose their own special way to mark the occasion

This year Dungog & District Neighbourcare MOW will be assisted by the local Fire brigade and Rural Fire Services throughout our local government area.

“All meals will be delivered as usual by our volunteers with the difference being; our fire fighters will be in tow to check the batteries of all fire alarms in the home of the clients on each of the runs they will attend,” said coordinator Kim Windebank.

“Any client that does not receive such a visit today (August 27) will be entitled to have their alarms checked at a later stage.

“All they need do is contact Neighbourcare on 4992 3348 to make arrangements.”

Volunteers Esma Tiernan and Lorraine Rooke

Volunteers Esma Tiernan and Lorraine Rooke

While the tradition and values of MOW remains true to its origin a focus on engaging people of all ages from all walks of life is unfolding and bringing renewed energy ideas and vision to help the organisation continue  to provide  a vital service.

The multicultural nature of society is echoed in the food, faces and friendships that typify MOW across the nation.

MOW is always looking for new volunteers to contribute to the delivery of meals across our local government area.

If your are able to spare an hour of your time once a month, once a fortnight or as often as you like, please contact Kim on 4992 3348.

“Neighbourcare would like to send a sincere thank you to two long standing volunteers with our organisation,” Mrs Windebank said.

“Sandra Deasey and Jan Watkins are retiring due to personnel commitments, so we say thank you for your dedication and service to Neighbourcare and our community.”

Gresford volunteer Katie Pritchard

Gresford volunteer Katie Pritchard