Community project hailed for its work to tackle malnutrition and loneliness among the elderly

Some of the meals prepared for the senior communitySome of the meals prepared for the senior community
Some of the meals prepared for the senior community
The dedicated team behind a Fife community project have been praised for their life-improving work to tackle malnutrition and loneliness among older people.

Kennoway Community Shed has been hailed for the way it has embraced work to improve the nutrition of its members who are aged 65 and over, encouraging them to eat better so they can live better.

Its achievements have been highlighted as part of UK Malnutrition Awareness Week with other groups across the country urged to follow the group’s lead.

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Not only did the Levenmouth centre ensure that older people did not go without a good meal at the peak of the pandemic, but its volunteers remained vigilant for signs of malnutrition.

That work was supported by a grant from the Small Ideas, Big Impact Fund run by the charity Food Train’s Eat Well Age Well project.

Pre-pandemic, the money was used to cook meals for older people visiting the shed, introducing them to new dishes, healthy options and encouraging conversations around food and nutrition.

As lockdown struck the importance of good meals was even more vital - so took their service on the road, delivering meals at home. Up to 60 people were receiving meals each week.

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Kennoway Community Shed chairman Bob McPhail said: “It had been really encouraging to see how people were enjoying the meals. So, as lockdown went on, we got back to doing the cooking. Those who could collect the meals did - and we delivered them to those who couldn’t.

“We have some real characters and wanted to do what we could to help with loneliness. They really missed coming along, so this was a way we could keep in-touch with them. I am really proud of how everyone connected with us has come through the lockdowns.”

Kennoway’s volunteers took part in training to spot the signs of malnutrition, which they continued to remain vigilant for when meals were being delivered. A series of simple questions quickly identifies those at risk of malnutrition.

Bob added: “Sometimes when they sit and blether, we are the only people they will have seen that week. Sometimes the only other voices they hear are on their TVs”

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