HOT and tasty meals are again being delivered to people in need.

Volunteer drivers from the Dean Forest Kitchen made the first deliveries last week.

The Kitchen, which is based at the Harts Barn Cookery School in Longhope replaces a similar service which had to close.

Dean Forest Kitchen trustee Sue Henchley explained: “I used to do some volunteering for the previous meals delivery service and was very upset when it had to close.

“Since then I’ve been determined to set something up which is going to keep going.

‘‘Since April I’ve been fighting quite hard to get it up and running.

‘‘I eventually met Yvette (Farrell) from the cookery school and decided to move the delivery service the cooking and everything here

“This is our first week and its all very exciting.”

Food prepared at Harts Barn using fresh, local ingredients – and even leftovers are transformed into enticing meals.

The kitchen currently serves 13 people in the Cinderford, Ruardean, Coleford and Mitcheldean areas.

Mrs Henchley added: “We are starting low and will gradually increase – we would like to serve lunch clubs as well as individuals in the future.

“There’s been a brilliant reaction and people thanking us for it.

“Its local food prepared locally but there is also the social interaction.

“Our drivers plate up the meals for the client – sometimes they are the only person the client will see.”

The kitchen takes referrals from individuals, families, carers and professionals such as social workers.

The service is also looking for volunteers and are hoping people will come forward to offer their services.

There are currently four drivers who deliver on Monday,Wednesday and Friday.

Mrs Henchley added: “We’ve had lots of interest from social workers, community nurses, carers’ organisations and the district and county councils.’’

For more information see the Dean Forest Kitchen page on Facebook or they can refer themselves or contact [email protected]