Trinity Network members enjoying one of our many social events
Nutrition and Hydration week commences Monday 11 March and this national campaign brings people together to create energy, focus, have fun and educate people on the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing in health and social care.
Here at Trinity Network we have been planning and thinking of ways we could incorporate even more into our daily routine. As we serve balanced meals every day this isn’t difficult but we did have some new ideas. So for Nutrition and Hydration Week this year our slogan will be “Trying Something New”. For instance, trying to persuade some of our ‘fussier’ members to eat the more exotic fruits which are now readily available in local supermarkets, also trying to persuade them to try vegetables cooked in a different manner, i.e. steaming them. Trinity Network is more than just a provider of food for the body it also provides food for the soul, Lynda Williamson, Trinity Network Manager, takes us behind the scenes.
A Trinity Network celebration – all the staff ready to serve lunch
Lynda says: “Trinity Network (Social Opportunities for Older People) runs two centres for the older people within our community based in Leeds 10 and Leeds 11.
We pride ourselves on our ability to serve freshly cooked nutritionally balanced meals to all of our members and both our kitchens have consistently been awarded five star status.
We also offer a meals service and cook freshly prepared meals on site for the 14 luncheon clubs across the City. Both of our sites serve approximately 1000 meals per month in house and externally. Every year we use a questionnaire to get feedback on the service and find out what type of meal people want to receive. It is very interesting that while some of our luncheon clubs want lasagne and other pasta dishes with garlic bread others won’t contemplate trying anything other than a traditional meat and two veg.
All of our meals are prepared with members in mind and will always include a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. At Trinity Network we always ensure there is fresh water available at meal times and during the course of the day. During this week we will infuse the water with fresh fruit to try and tempt more into trying water as a first choice and make available some fruit and vegetables they may never have tried before.”
But it’s not just a hot meal and dessert that Network members benefit from.
Lynda continued: “Many of our members are referred to us to prevent them from feeling socially excluded and to enjoy a hot meal in a friendly atmosphere, in most cases this will be the only cooked meal they will have throughout the day.
Attending Trinity Network prevents isolation which we all know is detrimental to health and wellbeing. Many do not have family members or the support of other adults, we aim to fill this gap by giving them support to achieve a healthier lifestyle. People who are living with dementia also attend and in some cases ‘forget’ to eat, we gently encourage them when it is mealtime.
For many of our members our centre is the only adult company they may receive throughout the day, we strive to make it as inclusive as possible. We are very proud of the fact that many of our members flourish after they begin attending Trinity Network. They come out of their shell and grow in confidence and even begin to eat new things that they may never have attempted before.
Here at Trinity Network we all love our jobs and we all play an important part in the experience, seeing the difference we can make to a person’s people’s life is so satisfying and rewarding, we are often told we are a lifeline.”
Thanks Lynda and all the Trinity Network staff for providing such lovely food and support.
If you would like to find out more about diet and nutrition for older people look at www.leeds.gov.uk/nexthotmeal – this page has information on supporting older, vulnerable people around food with information on:
- when, where and who to ask for help
- signposting and referrals
- questions and resources – that may help you have a positive conversation with someone.