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It’s hard to miss Nigel Rushton when he’s out and about on his bike. With a custom trailer and brightly coloured flags, Nigel’s bike brings a new meaning to Meals on Wheels.
New Zealand Red Cross’ Meals on Wheels service is about more than just a hot meal. The service delivers independence to many elderly and disabled people, as well as people recovering from illness or hospital treatment.
Nigel has been delivering Meals on Wheels in central Christchurch for six years. He started delivering by car but, as an avid cyclist, he was always keen to try out the route on his bike.
After the Canterbury earthquakes, Nigel decided to give it a go.
With streets damaged and roads closed, many people struggled to get around the city. On his bike, Nigel – and the much-needed hot meals – could make it through to the people who needed them.
The roads on his route may now be almost all repaired, but Nigel has never looked back. He modified a trailer to attach to his bike and every Monday loads the boxes of hot meals on to the back.
While his main motivation is helping others in the community, Nigel enjoys delivering Meals on Wheels on his bike for a range of reasons.
“It helps the environment by reducing pollution and congestion. I also benefit from it by getting lots of exercise and fresh air,” he says.
Sometimes the weather can get pretty fresh, but rain, snow or shine Nigel is on his bike delivering meals. When the weather turns, he pops on a rain poncho and carries on.
For the people who rely on the service, Nigel’s dedication is vital.
Christchurch resident Kristin Leek is one of the recipients on Nigel’s route. She started receiving Meals on Wheels after a stay in hospital and looks forward to Nigel arriving every Monday.
I was so grateful to have Meals on Wheels when I came out of hospital. It’s amazing that Nigel delivers it all by bicycle!
Want to get involved?
If you’re interested in delivering Meals on Wheels and helping in your community, get in touch with your local Red Cross or find out more here.