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Meet the woman providing Caribbean cooking to the housebound

HONOUR: Melanie Hamilton, centre, collects her Wise Women Award

WITH MORE and more people from Caribbean backgrounds being looked after by carers, living in care homes or left housebound due to illness, they don’t always get the chance to eat traditional Caribbean food.

One woman making sure that’s not the case is Melanie Hamilton.

She is founder of voluntary organisation My 2nd Chance, which provides a range of community services for young people.

AWARD
A recent recipient of a prestigious Wise Women Award, Melanie has now added another string to her bow with the launching of Nancy’s Community Meals Service (NCMS) which delivers authentic Caribbean meals direct to people’s homes.

Melanie, who attends the Church of God of Prophecy, New Cross, said: “I was inspired to start the business after going to visit my mum, who was housebound and finding that she was being given meals of mash and spaghetti.

“When I spoke to her carer she said she didn’t know how to cook Caribbean food. “I thought it would be good if there was an organisation that could provide meals for Caribbean people who could no longer cook for themselves and were housebound, had a disability or had dementia.

“I named the business after my mother because she was such an inspiration, and often used food – by inviting people to dinner – to win them to Christ.”


CARIBBEAN COMFORTS: Some of the food that Nancy’s Community Meals Service offers to its customers

Launched in March, NCMS has already had a great response.

The orders have been coming in so fast that Melanie has now moved her office out of her home into rented premises.

Although she initially started the service for people who were housebound or unable to cook, a whole new clientele Melanie hadn’t considered has started using NCMS – mature professionals.

She explained: “NCMS is getting orders from people who double as carers for parents and their families, but who are also professional and have busy lives and aren’t always able to cook for themselves. NCMS has been a godsend.”

Alongside her community work, and involvement in church, Melanie is a speaker and preacher, and is in demand to speak across the world. Buoyed by her recent Wise Women Award – the first she has ever received for her work – Melanie states it has inspired her to up the ante not only where NCMS is concerned, but her activities supporting people.

DESIRE
It is now her desire to open a drop-in resource centre so she can be at hand at all times to offer a helping hand to help others overcome life’s challenges and be all God has called them to be.

For more information about Nancy’s Community Meals Service visit my2ndchance.co.uk

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