Since May this year; at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Rise in partnership with Jessica Shaw M.P. Swan Hills and Serco (Acacia Prison), came together to supply 200 freshly made and frozen meals to people in the Swan Hills electorate and surrounds utilising our extremely valuable volunteers to provide a contactless and safe delivery to peoples doors.
The meals are made in Acacia's commercial kitchen by Acacia inmates who want to give back to their local community; this also provides them opportunities to gain qualifications in various hospitality related career paths. The recipients have mostly been Rise clients from our Aged Care, Disability and Mental Health Programs, we also accepted referrals from other organisations who identified people in need of meals.
Funding for the volunteer and staff expenses at Rise was achieved via a 10K grant from Commbank Staff Foundation Community Grant and additional funding via Doorstep Dinners (DD) partner St Patrick's in Fremantle. Once Wendy, Coordinator at Rise's Centenary Social Centre got wind of the Program, she offered to donate beanies and throw rugs knitted by our members to the recipients of the meals.
Last week we received a phone call from Jane who is supported by Rise. Jane has approval for Home Garden Maintenance from Rise as required and wanted to let us know how appreciative she was for the meals and that she had been finding it harder lately to make meals for herself. Additionally, she wanted to let us know she was delighted to receive a 'surprise' gift from Rise with her meal that week; a most beautiful throw rug, which she had used the previous evening as it was so cold!
As the Doorstep Dinners program is coming to a close in October, we also phoned all recipients and asked if they required some ongoing support with meals after this and Jane said yes. A home visit with Jane's Coordinator Kerryn took place to discuss options - a referral to receive meals under the CHSP Program was made for once the DD program came to an end. Jane's daughter said this would also help her as she had been balancing work and helping out with meals and now could just visit weekly to catch up knowing that her mum had regular nutritious meals organised.
During the home visit, it was clear that Jane enjoys socialising and volunteers to teach upholstery at a local Mundaring venue. Another seed was planted! The idea was explored of Jane visiting one of the very same local social centres who donated the throw rug both to see if Jane would be keen to attend as a member but also if Jane would be prepared to share her skills with the other members? Jane is thinking over all her options - as we left and said our farewells - the Roast Pork dinner was out ready for that nights dinner.
Enjoy the photos of our volunteer Steve, delivering Jane's meals and photos of Jane's gorgeous new throw rug (which gets put away every day so that Goldie, Jane's Labrador, doesn’t take advantage!) as well as one of Centenary's members showcasing the gift beanies that were donated. Rise also received a phone call this week from another meal recipient, Frank, to say he loved his beanie and the meals!
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