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Successful community support group serves final meals

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General Manager Paul Finegan, Sgt Evelyn Reddan and proprietor Tommy Redmond at the Ashdown Park Hotel

General Manager Paul Finegan, Sgt Evelyn Reddan and proprietor Tommy Redmond at the Ashdown Park Hotel

Some of the Gorey Community Support volunteers that delivered hot meals to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic at a special get-together in the Gin Garden at the Ashdown Park hotel

Some of the Gorey Community Support volunteers that delivered hot meals to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic at a special get-together in the Gin Garden at the Ashdown Park hotel

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General Manager Paul Finegan, Sgt Evelyn Reddan and proprietor Tommy Redmond at the Ashdown Park Hotel

The weekend saw the last batch of meals from chefs and staff of the Ashdown Park and Amber Springs Hotels delivered to people in need as part of a collaborative effort with Gorey Community Support during the Covid-19 crisis.

Michael Dwyer of Gorey Community Support said that the experience isn't something the volunteers will ever forget.

'A huge debt of thanks is owed to the Ashdown Park Hotel and owners Tommy and Paddy Redmond for their generosity in sponsoring the preparation of thousands of meals between March and June.

'Several kind-hearted volunteers came forward to assist with the delivery of these meals and they always delivered with a smile on their face. They proved the strength of community during a testing time,' he said.

In April, those receiving the meals from Gorey Community Support also began to receive a copy of the Gorey Guardian newspaper weekly with their meal. The recipients were very appreciative of this gesture, which only added to the assistance of getting their meals during the height of the pandemic and the tough time of cocooning.

Michael said that people on the list of recipients can now avail of a paid service to cover the cost of meals, which will be delivered to their home. Any queries regarding this scheme can be directed to 087 9770497.

Meanwhile, Meals On Wheels Gorey is continuing to operate as before, delivering to the regular recipients in Gorey and Courtown and additional persons included as part of the Covid-19 response.

Chairperson Colin Webb said that it is hoped to maintain the service with the current numbers, but is dependent on whether the HSE will fund the additional dinners.

'At the moment, the meals are funded from donations received from local businesses, but these monies will be exhausted by the end of June. The service has been inundated by people seeking the service from all over north Wexford, more so, since other meal providers have begun to wind down.

'Our service cannot meet the extra demands and could be swamped, putting the continuation of our service in difficulty.

'The Meals On Wheels are still operating under their Covid-19 Response where they use a reduced number of volunteers each week, to minimise interaction with their recipients, but they are starting to return to the normal service, which means they will be contacting the many people who offered to volunteer at the height of the emergency, to see if they are still available to help,' he said.

Mr Webb said that during the initial weeks of the pandemic, the service received donations of money and foods, as well as offers of volunteering and support and all were very much appreciated. He said that now the challenges is looking at the legacy of the pandemic, and how it could continue into the future.

Sincere thanks

Reader Sadie Murphy has sent special thanks 'to the Redmond brothers and all staff at the Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey GardaĆ­, carer Monica O'Brien and all of my neighbours and friends in Killenagh, Kilmuckridge, who helped me during this most difficult time.

'Sincere thanks to all for everything that they did for me, I am really grateful,' she said.

Gorey Guardian