Young sisters delivering smiles with Meals on Wheels

Jess, left, and Kiera France have spent their summer holidays spreading cheer and community spirit to the homes of isolated people in Amber Valley.
Jess, left, and Kiera France have spent their summer holidays spreading cheer and community spirit to the homes of isolated people in Amber Valley.

A pair of young sisters from Heanor are spending their summer holidays bringing smiles to isolated people’s homes after volunteering to help a meal delivery service.

Nine-year-old Kiera and five-year-old Jess France have been joining delivery runs with Meals on Wheels Amber Valley, a company catering to the elderly and vulnerable.

The Meals on Wheels service provides a vital point of contact for people.

The Meals on Wheels service provides a vital point of contact for people.

Their good deeds began last year, when dad Rob was lending a hand to family friends Simon Minto and Vikki Plant who run the service.

Rob said: “I was asked by Simon if I wanted to help out on Christmas Day delivering dinners to those who would be alone on that day and Kiera was also invited.

“To my surprise, instead of wanting to play with all the presents she had just unwrapped, she chose to give up most of the day visiting the elderly and alone to help deliver hot dinners.”

He added: “It was virtually bringing some folks to tears that someone had taken the time out to see them on this special day. It was a proud moment as a parent.”

The girls earn the occasional reward from their newfound friends.

The girls earn the occasional reward from their newfound friends.

From then on her sister wanted to join in too, and together they have spent many spare hours doing deliveries.

Rob said: “The smile on customers’ faces when they see the girls is priceless. They’ve made many friends along the way.

“Customers give them the odd bar of chocolate, and they now visit some outside of work hours too. They like to make sure one has a constant supply of his Jammy Dodgers.”

Meals on Wheels Amber Valley deliver between 50 and 100 lunches a day, as well as providing a daily source of contact for customers.

Vikki said: “It’s been lovely to have the girls around. They’ve been busy helping to make cheesecakes and apple crumbles, but the biggest difference is when they deliver them to people’s homes.

“Our elderly customers sometimes don’t see anyone from day to day. Those with dementia, you can see the sparkle in their eyes when the little ones turn up.”

For more information about the service, visit www.mealsonwheelsav.co.uk.