Environment Agency staff in Essex and South Suffolk are the meal deal

PUBLISHED: 11:58 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:31 30 May 2010

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ELDERLY residents received meals on 4x4 wheels after workers from the Environment Agency (EA) stepped in to help deliver hot dinners in heavy snow conditions. Workers at the Women s Royal Voluntary Service centre in Great Dunmow (WRVS) were ably assiste

ELDERLY residents received 'meals on 4x4 wheels' after workers from the Environment Agency (EA) stepped in to help deliver hot dinners in heavy snow conditions.

Workers at the Women's Royal Voluntary Service centre in Great Dunmow (WRVS) were ably assisted last week after snow had threatened to halt deliveries of hot meals to residents virtually trapped inside their homes.

When EA operations delivery manager Karl Watson found that his team could not get on with their normal construction and maintenance work on flood defences because of the weather, he found a different way to ensure the team was still helping people across Essex and South Suffolk.

On Thursday and Friday last week, eight EA four-wheel drive vehicles helped to deliver meals on wheels as they could get to places the WRVS drivers could not, but where elderly people still needed a hot meal more than ever.

Many EA drivers are very well trained to drive over difficult terrain, so with the right skills and the right vehicles were only too happy to help out.

Before starting out the vehicles were emptied of non-essential equipment and driven to the WRVS centre in Dunmow, as well as those at Colchester and Basildon.

There the drivers met local staff, collected the 'hot-boxes' containing delicious meals and together delivered them through snow covered, icy roads to several hundred very grateful recipients.

Mr Watson said: "We are public servants and some of my team were unable to do their normal work in this harsh weather.

"I am delighted to be able to have assisted the WRVS in providing their essential Meals-on-Wheels service to some of the most vulnerable and needy in our community."

WRVS food operations manager for Essex, Jacqui Middleditch, was quick to provide her sincere thanks to all the drivers who came to their assistance at what was a very cold and difficult time.

The Environment Agency team is now back to flood related work and is currently busily checking out flood defences for any damage or obstruction caused by ice and snow.

WHAT do you think? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk or write to us at 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1EE.

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