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Bury St Edmunds groups start Reducing Isolation with Food scheme for community




A project has been launched to hand out free heat-at-home meals and support isolated people in Bury St Edmunds.

The Reducing Isolation with Food (RIF) scheme funded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Abbeycroft Leisure, West Suffolk College and Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw will hope to support around 100 people a month for the next year.

Working with other organisations in the town including Aspect Living, Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid, Gatehouse, West Suffolk Council and St Nicholas Hospice Neighbours people in need will be identified and referred to RIF.

The Reducing Isolation with Food project hopes to help around 100 people a month. Picture by Phil Morley
The Reducing Isolation with Food project hopes to help around 100 people a month. Picture by Phil Morley

Rachel Thomas, Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw trustee, said: “We are delighted to be involved with the RIF project, which is a perfect fit for us - our cyclists will deliver meals and a chat on the doorstep to members of our community who may be feeling a bit isolated.”

The project, which started on April 30, sees meals cooked at West Suffolk College, with students using sustainable food donations to make the meals, before being delivered by the rickshaws.

Claire Waterson, who is co-ordinating the project from a West Suffolk College perspective, said: “The festive food project was a great success but it did not seem right doing it as a one off and everyone else who was involved felt the same.

West Suffolk College are preparing and packaging the meals for the scheme. Picture by Phil Morley (46815821)
West Suffolk College are preparing and packaging the meals for the scheme. Picture by Phil Morley (46815821)

“Our students are delighted to be helping out and so is the college. Now, more than ever, we need to look out for each other.”

To help sustain the project over the course of the year a fundraising page has also been set up by Abbeycroft Leisure.

Frank Carn-Pryor, the company’s Explore Outdoor coordinator, said: “We saw an opportunity during the festive project to make the provision of food, conversation and activity for isolated people into something sustainable.

“So we hope that our monthly deliveries will not only provide healthy and nutritious meals provided by the catering department at the college, but also some welcome social contact from the fabulous rickshaw volunteers.”

To refer anyone living alone in the IP32 and IP33 postcodes, email community@acleisure.com.

Alternatively, to donate to RIF, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/aclrif

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