A Hundred Reasons Why. Meals on Wheels Central Coast – Supporting our Community

Media Release

Across the Central Coast, a handful of centenarians and those approaching this milestone, are still living independently in their own homes, thanks in part to the services that they receive from Meals on Wheels Central Coast.

The well respected Central Coast organisation, that has been assisting our community for over 53 years, is honoured to be able to assist this select group of clients.

“One of our main aims is to assist members of our community to stay independent in their homes for longer,” said Dennis Taylor, CEO of Meals on Wheels Central Coast.

“By delivering meals to our clients regularly, we can ensure that they are eating a balanced, nutritional meal. This is especially important for our more elderly patrons,” he said.

The team of volunteers who support Meals on Wheels Central Coast are also instrumental in assisting these remarkable citizens.

“Welfare checks are performed at every meal delivery. Our volunteers will not just leave meals at the premises without being assured that all is well with the client. This a vitally important aspect of our service, and can put our client’s minds, as well as their loved ones, at ease.

“Sometimes, this can be the only social interaction that a client receives, which makes our service even more important,” Mr Taylor said.

Whilst some of these valued clients opt to receive regular meal deliveries, others attend the Meals on Wheels Central Coast Community Restaurants on a weekly basis.

These outings constitute an important social outlet for the clients, who go along to make friends, playing games such as trivia and bingo, as well of course as enjoying a hot meal.

Looking after the welfare of clients is of paramount importance to Meals on Wheels Central Coast, and they look forward to offering their unique brand of support to the community for many years to come.

Meals on Wheels Central Coast are currently compiling snippets of stories on this select group of clients, and they will be sharing these on their website and social media over coming weeks.


Alison’s Story

From her living room in Ettalong, Alison sits and watches the world go by. Her blue armchair is one of her favourite places to be, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t find something interesting to wonder at. Her view, after all, is pretty spectacular, looking out onto the blue waters of Ettalong as well as a bustling footpath and road. Alison loves to be near the water, having lived at Connells Point in Sydney prior to her move to Ettalong over 30 years ago.

At the age of 100, Alison still lives in her own home, receiving regular meal deliveries and attending our Community Restaurant at Woy Woy on a weekly basis, enjoying not only the company of fellow patrons but also the volunteers and staff who run the centre. The raffles and the prizes that go along with that have also been a great hit with this valued client.

The Community Restaurant provides an important social interaction for Alison, who also spends two days a week participating in Integrated Living Zoom activities such as bingo, craft, quizzes and online travel. This wonderful centenarian certainly keeps busy.

By having her meals delivered, Alison knows she doesn’t have to worry about cooking for herself. With her daughter on a separate diet, dinner time is made easier as meals can be heated and served in minutes, saving hassle and bother. Alison counts our pie meals and soups as some of her favourite fare, as they are not only delicious but are the perfect size to suit her smaller appetite.

As well as observing the hustle and bustle of her local community, Alison also loves to watch sport. Golf, tennis and rugby are her favourites, and she says she is ‘so lucky’ to be living a wonderful life.

We are lucky to have you as a client Alison, and we are so glad that we’ve been able to help you out. We look forward to seeing you on a weekly basis and are so glad that our volunteers and staff can bring a smile to your face.


Thelma’s Story

Thelma’s Story

We were recently able to sit down and have a chat with Thelma, one of our valued Meals on Wheels Central Coast clients. At the age of 99, Thelma had a few stories to tell, and we were more than willing to listen!

Having lived at Bellingen and Coffs Harbour for the majority of her life, Thelma and her husband Gar ran a cake shop in Coffs Harbour called Orchards for many years. Thelma said Gar was the ‘best pastry cook’ and the reputation for their business and their delicious goods spread far and wide over the years. They not only had regulars in their community frequent their shop, but vacationers who had sampled their wares would keep coming back for more year after year. One client even found out about how good their cakes were from a stranger on a train trip. To this day Thelma still loves her cake and eats it every day.

Thelma was a Jack of all trades in their business, doing whatever needed to be done, at the same time bringing up three children. It was an extremely busy life, especially when Thelma also needed to fit in another love of hers …. dancing.

Thelma loved to dance. ‘Dancing was my life’, she told us, and she has ‘worked hard and partied hard’ during her life but ‘never hurt anyone along the way’. She also ‘hasn’t run out of swear words yet.’

With three children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, Thelma says it’s lovely to revisit the memories from the past years, some, of course, being of life during WWII.

Thelma can also be found watching tennis on the television, having played the game herself until she was 94, only giving it up as she got a tad puffed. She also counts David Baldacci as one of her favourite authors, and this was evident by the many books of his that lined her book shelves in her home. She also loves a good crossword puzzle to help keep her brain moving.

It was an honour to sit down and talk to Thelma, and we are so glad that for the past year or so our service has been able to assist her with her meals and save her the chore of cooking, as well as helping Thelma remain independent in her own home.


Vote for Us in the #GreaterCentralCoast Community Funding Program!

We’ve Been Nominated in Greater Bank’s #GreaterCentralCoast community funding program

We have been selected for this month’s voting round of #GreaterCentralCoast, a Greater Bank Community Funding Program, and we’d love your help!

Voting for us is easy. Just head to https://www.greater.com.au/greatercentralcoast, click on the Meals on Wheels Central Coast profile and hit the small triangle to vote.

You can even vote once an hour!

Voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday 27 January, and we’d love it if you could support us in this #GreaterCentralCoast initiative.

Volunteer Christmas Party

There were smiles and laughter all round as we celebrated our volunteers at their annual Christmas party last Friday, 4th December.

Thanks to The Object Project for providing great background music as our guests enjoyed lunch, which was followed by presentations to acknowledge long standing volunteers. The much anticipated raffles were also a great hit with many lucky winners on the day!

Thank you to all of our volunteers for their dedication during what has been a slightly challenging year. We appreciate each and every one of you.

Free Christmas Meal for all Meals on Wheels Central Coast Clients

The joy of a Christmas dinner is something that no Meals on Wheels Central Coast client will miss out on this year, with the Central Coast organisation gifting a meal to each of their clients.

Over the weeks leading up to Christmas, the team of Meals on Wheels Central Coast volunteers will start to deliver this special gift to clients across the entire Central Coast.

CEO of Meals on Wheels Central Coast, Dennis Taylor, is thrilled to be able to make this special contribution to the community.

“Christmas time can be hard for a lot of people, both socially and financially,” Mr Taylor said.

“This gift of a meal will assist those who would not otherwise have been able to enjoy a special Christmas dinner this year.

“Our wonderful volunteers also perform wellness checks at every meal delivery, and our clients will be reassured that they are thought of and cared for around Christmas time” Mr Taylor said.

The Christmas Roast Turkey meal will be delivered to over 700 Meals on Wheels Central Coast clients from the beginning of December. Clients will be able to enjoy it when they choose and can place it in the freezer for easy reheating come Christmas Day. This initiative is supported by Meals on Wheels Central Coast’s for-profit arm, One Direct Advisory.

Meals on Wheels Central Coast currently deliver in excess of 16,000 meals to the elderly and People with Disability every month.

CEO Dennis Taylor, with Dave Dunn, Warehouse Team Leader

Drive, Enthusiasm and Succession at One Direct Connect

Congratulations to One Direct Connect, t/a Meals on Wheels Central Coast, Board Director Janelle Reid on the birth of her baby boy. William James Reid made an appearance late last week and we are thrilled to say both mother and child are doing well.

We are grateful that Janelle, a lawyer, is also on our Governance Sub Committee, is very dedicated to our organisation and was able to attend Board meetings throughout her pregnancy via Zoom.

Ron Thomsen, Vice Chair, commented that in his almost 20 years of NFP Board service he can’t recall a serving Director pregnancy on any other Board, Janelle is a first in his experience.

Ron said that in terms of Governance he is very pleased that the One Direct Connect (ODC) investment in younger Board Directors has been very beneficial in terms of diversification of thoughts, this has also presented other and welcome considerations.

“Succession planning is always a challenge in achieving desired skill and experience mixes, but at ODC we are well catered for, and William has his name on a possible future vacancy if so desired,” he said.

Another Board Director who is also a lawyer, Raea Khan, has announced that he and his wife Holly, are expecting a child in February 2020, which is more great news.

“The average age of our Board continues to come down, although we still have experience to invest and assist new Directors, and we are conscious that we need impetus and drive in a changing environment which is an important measure of our Board’s investment in the future” Mr Thomsen said.

At ODC we embrace a well balanced Board but also equal opportunity. However, Ron says we may need to introduce a crèche facility for future Board meetings! Which will be another NFP Board first!


New Chairperson Appointed

One Direct Connect Limited, trading as Meals on Wheels Central Coast, has welcomed a new Chairperson to their Board of Governance.

Jordan Bryant was elected Chair at the Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday 28 October. Jordan has been a voluntary Board Member since 2018, and after serving as Vice Chair for the past year, has stepped up to the helm of the iconic Central Coast organisation.

Jordan is a CPA qualified accountant having a successful career spanning the last 10 years predominantly in FMCG. His expertise in management accounting stems from several roles across supply chain, logistics and manufacturing. Jordan has well-honed analytical skills enabling him to be innovative in the way he approaches continuous improvement initiatives.

Jordan paid tribute to the years of volunteer dedication and Board involvement by past Chair in Ron Thomsen. Mr Thomsen joined the Meals on Wheels Central Coast Board in 2011, and since then has held the position of Treasurer for 5 years, as well as being Chairperson from 2016 to 2020. Mr Thomsen will remain on the Board as Vice Chair and continue to volunteer his time to One Direct Connect and its subsidiary groups including One Direct Advisory.

The One Direct Connect Board is made up of:

Jordan Bryant, Chair

Ron Thomsen, Vice Chair

Brian Freeman, Treasurer

Ray Mainwaring

Raea Khan

Ted Coupe

Janelle Reid

Stephanie Blower

Gail Ransley, Non Sitting Board Secretary

Meals on Wheels Central Coast cater to over 800 clients on the Central Coast, delivering around 16,000 meals per month to the elderly and People with Disability.


Jordan Bryant, Chairperson

Celebrating National Meals on Wheels Day – Wednesday 26 August 2020

National Meals on Wheels Day was celebrated on Wednesday 26 August this year and we’ve been celebrating the outstanding contribution that our wonderful volunteers make to our community.
From meal delivery to social support, performing wellness checks, having a chat, serving on our Board, and helping out in our office, they assist day in day out, and we couldn’t do it without them.
Thank you to all of our volunteers for your dedication, care, and support. We, and our clients, appreciate all of you.
To celebrate National Meals on Wheels Day, we’ve been gifting our clients and volunteers some wonderful goodie bags from Good360 . Here are just a few images from this week.

Kaylene, Amy (Volunteer Coordinator), and Ken

David, Alan, Don, and Margaret

Julian, Ray & Mavis, and Barry

Michael & Leilani, John & Barbara, and Len

John & Liz, and Kathy

We are so much more than just a meal!

Drum roll, please ……. Here is the premiere of our new Meals on Wheels Central Coast advertisement. Thanks to our lovely client Shirley for starring in it alongside Lyn, our Client Service Officer, and Ken, one of our wonderful volunteers 🙂