Meals on wheels provider is Norwich pub landlord

One of the new meals on wheels providers in Norwich is a city landlord who cooks the food at his pub and gets his wife to deliver it in their car.

Norfolk County Council stopped providing the service in April and there were fears that vulnerable, elderly residents would be left feeling lonely and isolated.

But Felix Snell, landlord at the Quebec in Quebec Road, his wife Lisa and stepson Luke Cossey have stepped into the breach and are now one of the six providers of the service in Norwich, and the only one doing hot meals.

Trading as 'Good Wholesome Food', they cook and deliver with help from Age UK volunteers to about 30 elderly people and they hope to increase that figure in the future.

Mr Snell cooks the meals at the pub but is looking for larger premises. He is hoping to use the Silver Rooms in Silver Road, which is now used as a day centre for older people three days a week.

Mr Snell and his family provide and deliver the meals daily from Monday to Friday.

He said: 'I cook the meals and my wife helps deliver them in our car in takeaway containers. My stepson runs the business.

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'At present I cook the meals at the kitchen at the Quebec pub, which is not very big, and I'm looking for bigger premises.'

As reported, the county council has pulled out of providing meals and also cut its annual �1.2m a year subsidy.

The decision at County Hall to switch to commissioning private companies to provide the meals was made during the Big Conversation, which identified �155m of savings in 2010. Prior to that, there were 650 people in Norfolk who received meals on wheels, with 159 in Norwich.

County council spokesman Suzie Lockwood confirmed that Mr Snell and his family were one of the six providers of the service in Norwich. She said that to become a provider, CRB checks were carried out and the provider needed to join a trusted traders' scheme run by trading standards. The recipients of the service pay the providers directly for the meals.

If you would like to become a provider contact Vanessa Dobson at Norfolk County Council on 0344 800 8020.

How are you helping the vulnerable and elderly residents of our community? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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