LETTER: Sorrow and anger at loss of service

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It is with great sorrow and deep anger that I read of the RVS decision to cease their contract with WSCC for the supply of Meals on Wheels.

As far as I know there has been a service (started by the WRVS) in the Horsham area for some 40 years. I myself was a volunteer for 25 years and some of my colleagues served for 30 years.

Up until two years ago volunteers were delivering some 150 meals a day in the Horsham area. Then without (as far as I know) any prior consultation with volunteers as to the viability of such a scheme, the entire system was changed.

We were informed that all local depots were to be closed and the service would be centralised from Crawley and Rustington.

Commercial drivers would be employed for the delivery of meals and the role of volunteers was to become ‘semi careworkers’, i.e. going into clients’ homes to cook the meals and ensure they were eaten.

This was not what most of my colleagues wished to do. Many did not have the time that such a process would involve, neither did they all have transport. Consequently, I believe the majority resigned without, I may add, a word of thanks for all the years of service.

Therefore, not only were the clients denied the friendly service of volunteers who always took the time to enquire as to their state of health etc., but the volunteers themselves lost out.

Many of them were widows or widowers and as one said to me it gave him a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

For so many years we had a wonderful friendly and happy service in this area. I appreciate that, at times, it wasn’t perfect, but if it kept going for so many years with so many satisfied and loyal clients, it was obviously a viable scheme as opposed to that which replaced it.

It is heartbreaking to think all that is now being lost.

CYNTHIA TISMAN

Conifers Close, Horsham