Camden Meals on Wheels Inc. won the 2020 Meals on Wheels NSW Innovation Award for ‘Social Connection’, with their mobile library service, The Book Bus.
Camden Meals on Wheels has been caring for the community of Camden for 50 years and offer a wide range of services. They sought a solution to provide clients with a safe way to interact with others and to provide an in-person welfare check. They were aware that during lockdown, facilities such as libraries, bookstores and secondhand stores were all shut down – all at a time when their clients were spending more time in their homes than ever before. Their response was to commence a regular Mobile Library Service, affectionately known as The Book Bus that could visit residential centres and individual client homes allowing the client to select and borrow books and give the team at Meals on Wheels the opportunity to check in on the welfare of their clients.
Demand has continued to grow with more than 400 books available in the library, including newspapers, large font books, DVD’s, magazines and audio books. Of the many positive outcomes, providing their clients with a degree of escapism from the monotony of isolation and the uncertainty of the current pandemic environment is invaluable, as well as insuring their clients know that they will have a friendly face coming every week to see them and allow some of them a social interaction that they would not normally get in the current COVID-19 climate.