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You'll find below some frequently asked questions about our Food Preparation service and we hope these will help you decide whether this service is right for you.

What can the service provide?

Support and assistance to enable you to continue to cook your own meals or our Home Helps can prepare light meals for you, for example microwave foods, simple snacks, sandwiches, pasta dishes or salads.

Are staff trained in food preparation?

Our staff have completed a Level 2 in Food Hygiene and the service is registered with the Food Standards Agency.

Is the service available in all areas?

Currently the service is available in Braintree, Southend, Castle Point, Rochford, Thurrock, Chelmsford, Epping and Maldon only. We hope we will be able to expand to other areas in the future.

What time is the service available?

The service is available from 8.30am to 4.30pm however please do contact us to discuss your individual requirements as we may be able to help.

Is there a minimum amount of time I have to have per visit?

We ask for a minimum of one hour per visit however this can be combined with an existing service such as cleaning or shopping or a full one hour for food only. This may be helpful if you want to continue cooking for yourself but want support and assistance to do this from preparing the food through to cooking it.

Will I have the same member of staff who does my cleaning, shopping or sitting?

We are unable to guarantee that if you have another service with us the Home Help will be the same one unless it is combined at the same time, from example having food at the same time as your normal cleaning visit.

What if my scheduled visit falls on a statutory holiday?

You will be asked if you would like the service on an alternative day in the week and we will make every effort to reschedule your appointment for another day and time, in some cases this may be with an alternative member of staff to your usual one.

What we cannot do

We are unable to offer food/meal preparation where a dependency on meals being provided five days a week is essential to the health and wellbeing of the person. We are unable to cook meals for someone other than the client or spouse. We will not cook out of date of food.

What is the cost of the service and how do I pay?

There is a one off £20 registration fee which is payable by cash or cheque at the first home visit if you do not already receive the Home Help or Sitting Service. The hourly charge is thereafter £15.40 and is payable monthly. We recommend Direct Debit but card payments can be taken over the telephone. We do not accept cash payments and our Home Helps are not allowed to take them due to the risk to their safety of carrying cash.

What if I need to cancel my booking?

We require 24 hours notice to cancel a visit. You could be charged the cost of the visit unless the cancellation is due to an emergency.

If I am not happy with the service what should I do?
We encourage you to speak to our staff directly, as often this is easily resolved and our staff aim to complete tasks to your expectations. However if you feel unable to do this or the situation remains unresolved then please contact our Customer Care Team who will assist you in finding a solution.

Who do I speak to if I have a general enquiry, compliment, complaint or any other comments on the service?
We have a dedicated Customer Care Team who will be able to answer your general queries on the service. The direct number for them is 01245 423333. you can also email the Customer Care Team at homehelpandtoenailscustomercare@ageukessex.org.uk.

If you would like to write to the Customer Care Team, the postal address is Home Help and Toenail Cutting Service Customer Care Team, Widford Hall, Widford Hall Lane, Off Tattersall Way, Chelmsford CM2 8TD.

We encourage our customers to communicate any comments to us as your feedback will help us to help you in delivering a quality service to be proud of. We listen to our customers and value every single one, we want you to feel we care about you, that you can trust us and that we are committed to providing you with the best service we can.