From the Lewes House of Friendship

Over the last few months, we have heard a lot about our frontline heroes; nurses and doctors, carers, delivery men, postmen (and women!), dustmen, shop workers and more – and we older ones are very grateful to them all.

But we wanted to share with you some details about our own unsung heroes, at Lewes House of Friendship. Some of you will know the place on School Hill, a centre for older people in Lewes, providing a place to meet, have a cup of coffee, a well-cooked lunch, or join in an activity.

Keeping everyone safe… and fed

Like so many places, we had to close the doors on 20th March, to keep everyone safe from coronavirus. Our cook, Keith, was very concerned about the members who rely on us for lunch, Monday to Friday every week – so Keith (who lives in Burgess Hill) and Sophie, our kitchen assistant (who lives in Ringmer) decided that they would still come in and make a meal every weekday morning – and deliver it to any member who signed up for one.

Since 23rd March, they have gone in every weekday and done this. The meals are varied and tasty and are delivered hot to people’s doors at lunchtime. The service started with orders from around 20 members a day – but by the end of June they were serving 40, showing how members have passed on the good news to their friends!

It was not easy at the beginning to find all the ingredients, or the containers to keep the food hot, but the cooks persevered and always made sure the members were fed.

We have received a collection of notes and cards from our members, with comments like;

“I really enjoy eating the lunches – I look forward to them very much”

“The meals are yummy! Lucky old us!”

“It’s always lovely to see your smiling face”

or just a heart-felt “Thank you – the meals are keeping me going”.

Keith and Sophie have had some help with the actual deliveries. Lucy aged 16, who lives nearby, has come every weekday to deliver the meals for the centre of town. Dodie, a regular volunteer, delivers to those in Malling, and the lucky residents of one of the retirement complexes in Lewes have their meals delivered by their scheme manager, Melissa, in her lunch hour.

So we want to say a very big thank you to these quiet heroes, who have brought comfort and cheer to many people in Lewes at this unsettling time.