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Lockdown lunch delivery service draws to a close

by Geoff Brown

Cathy Bowness about to present a plant to Dawn Harper

As has been reported in earlier news items, when the Luncheon Club (normally held at the Glebe) had to be suspended due to the Covid-19 restrictions, a group of residents sprung in to action to try to provide some continuity for those who would miss out on their weekly meals. Under the umbrella of the Crich Area Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group, a new band of volunteers was quickly established to deliver hot lunches to any residents who were isolating or shielding as a result of the crisis.

Dawn Harper, who had just established a new catering company, offered to provide hot two-course lunches on a daily basis and has done so for an incredible eleven weeks! In this, she has been ably assisted and supported by her husband Tony.

Cathy Bowness being presented with a gift

As you can imagine, this took quite some organising. This is where Cathy Bowness stepped in, coordinating all the orders and deliveries to grateful recipients throughout the area. A series of volunteer drivers came together and were always on hand to deliver the meals and to check on the welfare of the people receiving them.

For the first seven weeks, meals were delivered on five days a week, reducing to three days about four weeks ago. It was not unusual for over thirty meals a day to be prepared and delivered - amounting to well over one thousand meals over the course of the service.

However, as life slowly returns to normal, Dawn has now understandably decided to step back and reclaim her life. 

Dawn Harper, husband Tony add Cathy Bowness, with socially distanced drivers, at the brief presentation

And so on the last delivery day (Friday 12th June), many of the volunteers descended on Dawn and Tony's house to present both Dawn and Cathy with small tokens of appreciation for all that they have done for the community. As it happened, the rain decided to come just on cue, so it was a rather wet occasion! The picture shows Cathy, with Dawn and Tony, surrounded by some of the volunteer drivers - all socially distanced of course!

There has been nothing but praise from those who have received the meals. A typical piece of feedback to Dawn stated that: 

It wasnt just receiving the meals that we looked forward to, it was the people who delivered them. Always smiling and asking if we were OK. 

It felt like we were being looked after and well cared for.

Praise indeed for a great team of people who came together solely to help others.

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