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Wauchope Meals Service branch’s turn to switch sites

A short move across Wauchope’s High Street brings exciting opportunities for Omnicare clients.

After three decades at the back of an arcade, the organisation’s Hastings – Wauchope Meals Service branch will have a more visible presence at its new home.

Omnicare’s multi-purpose facility at Bain Park will house this important community service.

The centre is currently in use two days a week by Omnicare’s Social Support Groups (SSG) and regularly for its Disability Services group activities programs.

Head of Meals Service Alvena Ferguson said the move had been floated some time ago.

“We were waiting for permission from Council [which owns the building] to permit a change of use to part of the centre,” she said.

“The branch will have its own dedicated space within the centre for meals storage and administration.

“It will be more accessible for clients and volunteers. There’s more room for parking too, which will make the dispatch of deliveries somewhat easier.”

Ms Ferguson said the multi-purpose facility heralded a sign of things to come for Omnicare, which has a dozen sites across the Mid-North Coast region – from Forster to Sawtell.

“Omnicare provides a wide range of services,” she said. “As we expand across the region, it makes sense to make full use of our premises – particularly the former Meals On Wheels branches.”

Head of SSG, Sarah McGarrity, said staff and regulars at the Bain Park centre were looking forward to welcoming new faces.

“This week has seen the resumption [following Covid restrictions] of our clients preparing food in the kitchen,” she said.

“They’ll be taking hot drink ‘orders’ from the Meals Service staff and serving them at morning tea.

“We’ve also got plans to offer clients the opportunity to assist with packing Meals Service products for the volunteers to deliver.

“We also hope some of them will be keen to deliver the meals, accompanied by our support workers.”

The branch will switch operations to Bain Park on Monday, 21 September.

This has involved a two-day suspension of the service to facilitate the move. Clients who normally receive meals during those days received their deliveries last Wednesday instead.