ELDERLY people shielding in Dollar last week started receiving hot lunches as part of a programme looking to keep people connected during lockdown.

Dollar Community Development Trust has teamed up with The Playpen Café CIC in Muckhart while the town's regular lunch clubs are not available.

Soup with a roll and cake for dessert are delivered on Tuesdays while a hot meal and a cake goes out on Fridays – thanks to money from the Scottish Government's Wellbeing Fund.

The initiative supports elderly people shielding in Dollar and 23 people enjoyed a delicious meal of mince and tatties followed by a salted caramel brownie last Friday.

The meals are made up by the Playpen's qualified chef Alexandra Ostroumoff-Croucher with volunteers delivering and connecting with people while socially distancing.

Rebecca McFarlane, development officer at the trust, told the Advertiser: "They used to have a weekly lunch club that met on a Monday and a Friday, so what we though was we'd do something similar, although taking lunch to them."

She added: "It's just a way of connecting with people, having somebody come around and so that they a different meal once or twice a week.

"It's all home cooked, healthy and just another way of linking in with the community, making sure we are thinking about them because there's a lot of people on their own."

The initiative is part of the Stay Connected Programme in town, which is also delivering online fitness classes with plans to do more with cooking, gardening and bingo sessions.

And while many elderly people are not online, funding is in place to provide devices to get people connected through technology.

The lunch delivery initiative has received funding for the next three months, but donations are welcome.

Rebecca wanted to say thanks to the government for funding, Alexandra for the hearty meals as well as the volunteers who are out delivering twice a week.

Anyone who knows and elderly person who is shielding in Dollar and could benefit, can contact Rebecca via rebecca.dcdt@gmail.com or call 07563 405 939.