Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Hampshire County Council has agreed for investment of up to £16.4 million in a new Meals on Wheels contract, that will reach out to support younger adults for the first time.
Set to begin on 1 October 2018, the service will be offered to adults aged over 18 who have difficulty preparing food and managing and maintaining nutrition. This could be those with dementia, a learning disability, a mental health issue, a history of substance misuse, or a physical disability.
The service, which currently helps 1,770 customers, delivers a two course hot lunchtime meal, with the additional option of afternoon tea. Nearly 35,000 lunchtime meals are delivered each month, with 64 per of customers to date aged 75 and over, with 36 per cent aged between 55 and 75.
Liz Fairhurst, executive member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Meals on Wheels offers a vital lifeline for many Hampshire residents, in terms of ensuring good nutrition, which is so important for good physical and mental health. Extending the service to younger people is an obvious next step for us as we seek to support all adults to live independently in their communities. “Sometimes a Meals on Wheels visit is the only social interaction a person may have all day, so the service also plays a valuable role in helping to prevent social isolation.”
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