Soup-a project wins top award

Phil McGrath and Audrey Jolly with the team of Soup-a-grans.
Phil McGrath and Audrey Jolly with the team of Soup-a-grans.

A groundbreaking project helping residents gain employability skills while also feeding vulnerable pensioners has won an award.

The Cedarwood Trust’s Soup-a-Gran scheme picked up the 2015 Idox Innovation Awards for Innovation in promoting healthy living.

The trust, based on the Meadowell estate in North Shields, encourages people to make a difference in their community.

The Soup-a-Gran scheme, supporting the long-term unemployed over the age of 50, cooks food and distributes it to vulnerable residents, providing friendship as well.

Phil McGrath, chief executive of the Cedarwood Trust, said: “Our focus has been on the reduction of isolation, by bringing individuals together to share in a range of low-level activities, by identifying interests, and developing strategies into projects that improve confidence.

“This award means a great deal to our project.”

“It underlines the excellent work undertaken by our Soup-a Grans to make a considerable difference to isolated older people in our community.”

This project aimed to redress some of the inequalities relating to health and income, particularly for those in the local community aged over 60.

The judges were impressed with the schemes outcomes which included certificates in basic food hygiene, health and safety qualifications and barista training.

The oldest volunteer, Meadow Well resident Audrey Jolly, aged 87, said: “It’s a great feeling to be one of the Soup-a-gran’s.

“There are a lot of lonely and vulnerable people that we help and this scheme has made a big difference to everyone involved.”