National Meals on Wheels Day is celebrated every year on the last Wednesday in August, which this year is August 25. On this day, we recognise the thousands of staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to support those in the community who need assistance to live and age well at home.
Over the last 18 months, Meals on Wheels in the North and Mid North Coast has faced a number of challenges. Through devastating bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic, our volunteers continued to turn up at their local service and make sure no one went hungry. The essential service our organisation provides has been a pillar of the Australian community for over 60 years. Our service model is unique to all other meal services because it draws on the inherent goodwill of volunteers in the local community who invest time and genuine care into the clients they deliver meals to.
One of our local services has found that Meals on Wheels volunteers spend an average of 10 minutes with each client on delivery – time spent in monitoring wellbeing, providing valuable social contact and support, dispelling loneliness and bringing a positive connection to their day. Meals on Wheels invests in the social capital of the local community to provide this invaluable support to clients, and in doing so not only enhances the lives of those clients, but the lives of the volunteers as well. This in turn benefits the community as a whole by providing a sense of belonging, proactivity, participation, and reciprocity. It strengthens networks and enhances trust and safety in the community. All of these things are integral to our individual and collective health in functioning communities, and National Meals on Wheels Day is the day for the community be nurtured and celebrated!
In recognition of Fran Leske’s Life Work
It’s only fitting in the wake of National Meals on Wheels Day, to announce that Fran Leske, long-time manager at Brunswick Valley Meals on Wheels, will be bringing her career to a close.
Fran has been the mainstay of Brunswick Valley Meals on Wheels for the past 27 years! Before that, Fran worked for Meals on Wheels Victoria for 13 years. That’s a total of 40 years of ongoing commitment to providing meals and support for clients in our communities!
Fran has seen many changes over the time she has worked in Meals on Wheels, and has instigated innovative ways of working to achieve great outcomes for clients. Fran embodies all the qualities we value in our work – integrity, compassion, adaptability and resourcefulness to name a few.
On behalf of all her Meals on Wheels colleagues, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise and congratulate Fran for all her wonderful work and amazing contribution to our community and our sector.
Attached pictures shows Fran (end right) with the team Meals on Wheels team Brunswick Valley. Clockwise from left: Colleen, Lyn, Diane, Fran, Chelle and Gail.