The Food Train’s 20th Anniversary

A superb short documenting Food Train’s inspiring story from it is humble beginnings in Dumfries & Galloway to an ever expanding charity dedicated to help support older people live independently at home across Scotland – including Dundee :

Food Train Dundee has recently expanded to include our befriending service, Food Train Friends. Customers enjoyed their first outing to The Rep Theatre Dundee to watch The Beautiful People.  The show was thoroughly enjoyed by all and customers had a blether afterwards in the cafe.  
There will soon be a Christmas lunch and shopping trip to Dobbies Garden Centre.  
It is great that Food Train can now add this service and continue making a difference to the older people of Dundee.

Food Train Summer Newsletter

The Dundee Food Train is going from strength to strength and you can read more about the service locally here.
The Food Train is a Scottish charity providing a vital grocery delivery service to older people.  This service is run by volunteers and is always looking for new volunteers to come forward to help across Dundee.
The charity recently celebrated its 20th anniversary nationally and you can read its latest newsletter covering this milestone here.

Dundee Food Train

I have mentioned the award winning Food Train in the past and this is a reminder about this great service that supports older people aged 65 or over to live independently in their own communities by delivering groceries to people who have difficulty doing their weekly food shopping.
Dundee City Council has contracted the Food Train Service to provide a grocery shopping delivery service to people in Dundee aged 65 and over who are having difficulty in managing their grocery shopping.
The  Food Train   further  supports older people to live independently at home  by  addressing some of the  difficulties older people face in getting their weekly grocery shopping. As a Social Enterprise, this preventative service  provides choice and flexibility to older people  and supports people gain employment by providing opportunities for volunteering in the community. 
For those older people with mobility difficulties, the Food Train  helps them  organise   their weekly groceries from the shops to their homes. There is a £3.00 delivery charge payable. Customers pay a £1.00 fee to join the Food Train.
For further information contact: Grant Simmons, Regional Manager, Food Train, Telephone 459202 – Office D, Market Mews, Market Street, Dundee, DD3 1LA
Volunteers needed!
The Food train needs volunteers to deliver their grocery shopping and home delivery service to older people living  in the community. 
They need:
• Shoppers
• Drivers
• Helpers
Further information from Kirsty or Grant at the above address.

Food Train Friends in the West End @FoodTrainScot

From the excellent Dundee Food Train service :
“We have been successful in securing funding from the Dundee Partnership small grants and Reshaping care for Older People to pilot a befriending service in the West End of Dundee for six month.   The project aims to offer short trips to older people over 65 to visit a supermarket in Dundee with support on a 1:1 basis with a volunteer. 
One of the outcomes from our annual survey of customers using our grocery delivery service was the desire to have an occasional visit to a supermarket.    The intention being that these customers otherwise housebound or having poor mobility would be able to see first-hand new products and special offers available in store and have a better idea of what groceries they might try when ordering through Food Train. 
Food Train Friends in the West End of Dundee will hopefully reduce the social isolation and loneliness experienced by some older people in the community.    This will be by offering the opportunity to visit the supermarket (possibly Morrisons as it has a café in store), meet other people and through the social element reduce people’s dependency on family and neighbours. Experience of other Food Train Friends services show that this would give older people a sense of being less reliant on these people. 
In an evaluation of Food Train Friends running in Dumfries customers commented on the difference the befriending service made.   The responses showed that without the service customers would have a limited amount of social contact with peers and volunteers, and a limited amount of enjoyment in their lives (things to look forward to and memories to treasure when back home). 
The cost will be £3 which will include the cost for the tea/coffee and snack, participants who are not members of Food Train will have to pay £1 to join. We plan is to offer this service to six older people per month, for six months running to March 2015. Thereafter an evaluation will be carried out and further funding will be sourced to hopefully roll out the service across Dundee.”

Dundee Food Train visit

Yesterday, I had a very productive meeting with Grant Simmons, Manager of the Dundee Food Train, that provides an excellent shopping service for older people across the city.
Dundee Food Train is going from strength to strength, with record numbers of customers and volunteers.
If you are aged over 65 and would like to know more about the service, or if you would like to be a volunteer, please contact the Food Train office:

Dundee Partnership Awards Dinner

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Dundee Partnership Awards Dinner at the City Chambers – see right.
It was a very enjoyable evening and great to see the winning local organisations recognised for the work they do in local communities across Dundee.
Amongst the winners last night was the Food Train, which has expanded rapidly thanks to the hard work of Grant Simmons, his colleague and the team of volunteers who provide an invaluable shopping service to elderly people across the city.

Community Spirit Action Group meeting

This evening, I attended the March meeting of Community Spirit – the community group for the “north” part of West End Ward, covering Tullideph, Ancrum, Pentland and the Cleghorn area.
There was a presentation from Grant Simmons, Manager of the Dundee Food Train.     Grant gave an update on progress with the Dundee Food Train since its recent launch.   Providing an excellent shopping service for elderly people in Dundee, there are now over 40 users of the service and 35 volunteers.    If you feel the service could benefit you or you would like to volunteer, here’s the contact details:

Phone:  459202

Address:  Office D, Market Mews, Market Street Dundee DD1 3LA

After Grant’s presentation, we discussed local issues and I was able to update the meeting about the site visit the Community Spirit Secretary and I had on Monday in Ancrum Drive, with a representative of Hillcrest Housing Association, that should hopefully see some additional car parking bays becoming available for local residents.   Parking is a real problem in the street and some more parking will clearly help.

Community Council meeting

Tonight’s West End Community Council saw a very interesting presentation from Grant Simmons, Regional Manager of the Food Train Project about progress with this excellent initiative the City Council is supporting to assist older people in Dundee with their shopping needs.   

Last month, I updated residents about the project and this evening Grant advised that the first shopping deliveries to local people will take place during the week commencing 23rd January.

Grant gave assurances that local shops will be included as well as supermarkets in providing the goods and this was reassuring, given the local shops in the West End that provide excellent produce at competitive prices.

Volunteers required in the following roles:
·                In store shoppers -To work in a specific supermarket, picking groceries and loading them into the customers shopping boxes
·                Helpers – To help check the shopping through the check-out and loading it onto the van. You will then go around our customers
delivering and unloading their shopping
·                Drivers – Driving the company van, you will collect the shopping boxes from the supermarket and deliver to our customers,
unloading the shopping and putting it away for them if required
·                Office assistance / promotion – Support to the office, answering phones, taking customers shopping requests and helping to keep
the office running smoothly
       For more information please contact:
       Grant Simmons
       Office D, Market Mews, Market Street Dundee DD1 3LA

Update on the Food Train project

Last month, I mentioned the forthcoming launch of the Food Train service in Dundee.  

The Food Train is a Scottish charity providing a vital grocery delivery service to older people.  This service is run by volunteers and it is recruiting for volunteers to come forward to help across Dundee.

The Social Work Department of Dundee City Council has now given me an update on progress in providing this very useful service :

“The manager has been appointed as is completing his induction. Premises at Market Mews have been secured, and a vehicle purchased.
The recruitment of volunteers in now underway, and discussions are taking place with the Community Planning Partnerships and with Dundee Volunteers Centre.   The Food Train Manager is to attend the Older People Strategic Planning Group.
Negotiations are underway with supermarkets.  Morrisons has already agreed to support the service.
The service will begin on 23 January 2012. There will be a publicity event to mark the launch of the service.
A communication strategy is in place which will cover the following:
* notifying/updating relevant stakeholders
* service users who are currently on a waiting list for our shopping service  will all receive a visit from a member of DCC staff to explain the food train to them
* service users who currently use the DCC shopping service will be given information regarding the food train, and they will be given a choice as to continue with the DCC shopping service or move to the food train
* All relevant DCC staff will be informed/updated on the service
* The Health Partnership will be notified of the service and will promote the service to older people in the community who are not known to Social Work.”

I am very pleased at the progress with the Food Train project.   It is vital that the City Council supports the ability of the third sector to help elderly and vulnerable people and the Food Train will be a boon to the many local people who will benefit from this shopping service.