Dumfries & Galloway News
The latest news from the Dumfries & Galloway branch of Food Train.
Food Train Friends customers and volunteers in Annandale and Eskdale and Dumfries enjoyed a pre-Easter evening outing to Thornton's at Gretna Gateway on Tuesday 24th March. In all, Twenty Six enjoyed tasting various chocolates with a cup of tea, a demonstration in gift-wrapping, making flowers out of ribbon and all had a go at decorating our own Easter egg. A great time was had by all and there was even a wee birthday surprise for Lillian who was 91-years-young!
Food Train Friends customers enjoyed a trip out on Thursday 19th March to the 200 year old Savings bank Museum at Ruthwell, finding out about the first savings bank in Scotland. A trip was also made to the nearby famous 7th century Ruthwell Cross with a lunch stop being made at Hetland Garden centre.
On Friday the 13th of February, Food Train Friends had a trip to Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT). It was a return trip by popular demand. Two minibuses took customers for a spot of lunch and a talk was held by Brian Morrell on the work of the centre plus there was a viewing of the birds being fed at 2pm. Overall the trip was a great success and it is now set to become an annual trip.
Food Train Dumfries and Galloway has recently taken delivery of a new van. This was made possible with a grant from SSE Clyde (Dumfries and Galloway) community fund administered by Foundation Scotland. (‘Funded from the SSE Clyde (Dumfries & Galloway) Community Fund’). This has enabled us to replace one of our older vans with a newer, bigger and more efficient van allowing us to continue to provide the vital and much needed service to our customers.
With so much in the press recently highlighting loneliness among older people, it was a great chance for our Food Train Friends service to show how easy it can be to bring friendhip, happiness and improved social contact to isolated older people. Border TV News filmed volunteer Ronald and Food Train member Edna at their weekly social visit where Ronald is also helping Edna learn to skype so she can keep in touch with friends and family living elsewhere. Click the link to watch our TV stars in action http://tinyurl.com/o2wfqfk
Dumfries Food Train volunteers went that extra mile to help local members make the most of their weekly shopping order with a trip to the local supermarket to see what's on offer. The volunteers completed all their weekly deliveries as normal then swapped the delivery van for the Food Train Friends minibus to help some of the local members enjoy an outing to get some extra shopping and see what's new on the shelves. All agreed it was a great day out with local members gaining lots of new things to add to their weekly shopping list.
Food Train Friends recently signed up their 100th volunteer befriender signed up. The service launched in 2010 as a pilot project in Annandale and Eskdale and since then has gone from strength to strength.
In October, 2013, Food Train Friends recieved over £500,000 from Big Lottery Scotland to help develop the service across the whole Dumfries and Galloway region. Thanks to that funding, the service recently launched in the Newton Stewart area and has proven to be a big successs.
Without the volunteer befrienders, the Food Train Friends service wouldn't be able to function. So it is a great testament to the service that the number of befrienders continues to grow!
Our Stewartry branch based in Castle Douglas is currently looking to recruit additional volunteer drivers and delivery helpers to assist us in delivering grocery shopping to our many customers in the area. If you are interested in joining the team please contact our local area co-ordinator Jif Hyde on 01556 288427 or 0750 732 1874 or e-mail Jif@thefoodtrain.co.uk for more details. Volunteering is very rewarding and great fun so why not give it a go and give us a ring.
Here is the lovely Jean and Ann, a new 1-2-1 partnership set-up and supported by our befriending staff from Food Train Friends. Look at those lovely big smiles, that is what volunteering is all about - Happy Volunteers Week from the Dumfries and Galloway Team.
Food Train and Food Train Friends had a good day at Sainsbury in Newton Stewart last Saturday, 11th April, promoting our services. There were lots of opportunities to give out information, chat to people about what we do and also tell them about our new befriending service in The Machars (DG8) region of Dumfries and Galloway.
Thank you to our fabulous volunteers for organising this event, to Sainsbury for their support, and to all the lovely people who we stopped to speak to us. Lots of positive comments about Food Train, and we also have some names for new customers and volunteers. A grand day all round!
This is one of our volunteers Tony, explaining how Food Train works to a potential customer.
Great news from Food Train Friends! We have just launched our befriending service in the DG8 postcode for people aged 65+. There are approx 3500 people in this age group living in this area (2011 Census), many of them dealing with loneliness and isolation. Befriending can vastly improve the quality of life for an older person and increase their links to the outside world. We offer home visits, group outings and telephone befriending.
We are currently recruiting volunteers: for more information contact Karen (West Area Development Officer) in our Newton Stewart office on 01671 401346 or pop in to see us on 11 April at Sainsbury in Newton Stewart between 9 am – 5pm .
You can also contact Karen via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by popping along to our Newton Stewart Office: C/O WRDC Centre, 6-8 Queen Street, Newton Stewart, DG8 6JL.
This is one of our current volunteer befrienders, Thomas, on a 1-2-1with Cyril.
Volunteers and Staff from Food Train Dumfries and Galloway spent a succesful morning fundraising in Morrisons, Dumfries, a couple of weeks ago. A small stall was set up with leaflets and collection tins, meaning people could stop and have a chat about Food Train and the services we provide.
In total, £208 was raised; which is a fantastic sum, considering we were just in for a few hours. Our thanks to Morrisons for letting us setting up our stall.
In October 2013, Food Train Dumfries and Galloway was extremely proud to be awarded £590,474 by Big Lottery Scotland to help tackle social isolation throughout Dumfries and Galloway. Our Food Train Friends service started off in Annandale and Eskdale before expanding through to Dumfries. The funding from Big Lottery means we have been able to hire two new staff members and also buy our very first mini bus.
Featuring panoramic windows and enough room for 17 Food Train Friends customers, our new mini bus is a great addition to our service. Yesterday, Tuesday 25th of March, was the first outing in the new mini bus. A group of Annandale and Eskdale customers visited Castle Douglas Garden Centre to have a look round and also enjoy some coffee and cake. This was the first of what will be many visits in the future. If you'd like to find out more about our befriending service for older people in Dumfries and Galloway, please get in touch on 01387 27911.
Food Train Dumfries and Galloway is delighted to announce that we have entered into partnership with Tesco in Castle Douglas. They will be supporting the Stewartry branch to provide more choice for Food Train customers in the area, supplementing our other supermarket partner in Castle Douglas, the Co-operative.
This is the second Tesco in the region to enter into partnership with Food Train, the other being in Annan. This is good news for our customers as it helps Food Train uphold one of our core values of respecting our customers right to choice in their later years.
The Stewartry branch has started out offering customers on a Tuesday run the choice of Tesco, and it is hoped that the rest of the runs will be offered the choice in due course.
Food Train Dumfries and Galloway recently celebrated the 100 likes milestone on our Facebook page. A shout out to all D&G Facebook supporters was posted, asking them to spread the word about our page, and after less than a week the post had been shared 26 times and viewed over 1,000!
Food Train Friends had a day trip to WWT Caerlaverock last week, 26th February. After a hearty lunch in the information centre, friends and volunteers had an interesting talk from staff about the birds that are found at Caerlaverock. Following the talk, there was an opportunity to go outside and feed the swans. However, it was a rather cold and blustery day so only a brave few made it outside, as the photographs below demonstrate!