Pub couple plan village meals on wheels scheme

Landlords Louise and David Anthony from the Five Bells in Hessett are looking at launching a community sponsored meal on wheels scheme to help elderly people in their village and the surrounding villages.
Landlords Louise and David Anthony from the Five Bells in Hessett are looking at launching a community sponsored meal on wheels scheme to help elderly people in their village and the surrounding villages.
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A COMMUNITY-minded couple are planning to launch a community sponsored meals on wheels scheme out of their village pub.

The idea for the project came to Louise and Dave Anthony, landlords of The Five Bells, in Hessett, while watching an episode of The Hairy Bikers just weeks before Christmas.

“It wasn’t until then that we realised the Government had stopped assisting with funding of meals on wheels – we very much don’t like people being on their own and it’s something we thought we could do that could be really beneficial,” said Mrs Anthony.

“It’s about getting a community to be responsible for helping people in the area that are less fortunate,” she added.

The Five Bells was under threat of closure before Mr and Mrs Anthony took it over around 12 months ago.

Since then, they have completely renovated the pub and introduced a steak and seafood restaurant, which prepares meals from scratch using local produce.

And it is that ‘good quality substantial food’ the pub would be offering to elderly people in Hessett and to those in neighbouring villages, including Drinkstone and Rattlestone, if the scheme proves successful.

Mrs Anthony, a mother of two, said her family had moved to Hessett in the hope of finding a friendly community similar to the one she grew up in, in the Cambridgeshire, fens, but with 90 per cent of its residents still strangers to her, she hopes introducing the meals on wheels scheme will bring the village community closer together, as well as help those most in need.

Volunteers would be needed to make deliveries and regular donations would be essential, as little as £1 a week or produce donations from local businesses.

“There are people on our doorstep who need help,” said Mrs Anthony.

“We’re taking all of the time, preparation and planning but at the end of the day we’re still a business and we can’t afford to completely dedicate ourselves 100 per cent to this, which is why we’d be looking for volunteers to help out,” she added.

To pledge your support to the scheme or to register your interest as a potential recipient, email david.anthony@fivebellshessett.co.uk or call 01359 270350.