Posted on: Wednesday 31 March 2021
A team of youth workers has been cooking up a treat for vulnerable young people affected by the pandemic.
Staff from Torfaen Council’s youth service have prepared and delivered more than 100 meals every week to young people and their families since the middle of December.
And this week they will serve up their 1000th meal.
The idea came after Torfaen Young People’s Support Service were forced to cancel their annual dinner for around 70 young people and their families because of the pandemic.
Rather than seeing them miss out, staff from TYPSS and the council’s youth service prepared and delivered two-course Christmas dinners to everyone who was due to attend.
It proved so popular they decided to continue providing meals once a week, with highlights including spaghetti bolognaise, chicken curry and vegetable chilli.
Youth worker Matt Williams said: “All the meals are freshly made and packed ready for the young people to eat or to freeze and have another day.
“We have worked very hard to make sure these young people get a decent meal, many of whom are vulnerable and lonely, or due to finances have to make the decision to either put the heating on or buy food which is a tough choice, especially in the winter.
“The feedback from the young people has been excellent and it’s been really heart-warming for all of us involved.”
Student Josh, 19, is one of around 38 young people being supported by the new service. He said: “I can’t thank Matt and everyone involved with the service enough.
“The meals each week have kept me motivated and kept me healthy both physically and mentally, which has helped me with my studies.”
Kate Phillips, manager of the council’s Torfaen Young People’s Support Service, said: “Since its inception one thousand meals have been delivered to young people across the borough. This has included young parents, young people who are homeless and young vulnerable adults living alone.
“All have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and have experienced social isolation and financial hardship as a result of Covid-19.
“The delivery of two hot meals a week has given these young people a lifeline in a year of uncertainty.”
If you would like more information about the service or can make donations of food, contact Matt Williams on 07813 992152, Matthew.Williams2@torfaen.gov.uk or via social media.