Renfrewshire Council

Delivering for the community in all weather

Hot meals for local people come rain, hail or shine

Drivers John McCafferty and Graham Scott are committed to delivering hot meals to local people no matter what the Scottish weather throws at them.

View from inside a van with back doors open at a man placing large box inside
Graham loading his van
For Graham, working in the Community Meals team isn't just about providing food, particularly during the winter months when people are most isolated.

"To me, our service is more than it says on the tin. I really get to know the people I deliver to and I care about how they're getting on. Sometimes I'm the only person a service user sees that day, especially when the weather stops them from getting out and about. A chat and a bit of banter can really lift their spirits when they are feeling lonely.

"I see each visit as a sort of unofficial welfare check. I'll make sure they're ok, and if I notice that something doesn't seem quite right, I'll report my concern and make sure their family is informed.

"If they need a wee hand with something, I'm always more than happy to help them out. I've changed numerous light bulbs, opened bottles, changed TV channels and recently I even hung a shower curtain."

Looking out for their service users' wellbeing comes naturally to John and Graham and they both agree there's a strong sense of comradery and collaboration within the team, which is managed by the Renfrewshire and Health and Care Partnership.

A man and woman smiling as he hands her a tinfoil box with hot food inside
John delivering to a service user
John said: " We're always ready to support each other and deliver for our service users, no matter what. That's just how we work.  When my van broke down halfway through my delivery route, the rest of the team mucked in to help and make sure the rest of the meals were delivered.

"In winter, we're always keeping an eye on the weather forecast as we know the main issues are around how we'll get to people. During the recent storms, lots of fallen trees were blocking roads so I had to think quickly and work out alternatives routes to reach everyone.

"Ice and snow are obviously a challenge, especially out in the countryside. Sometimes I can only take the van so far along a small road before I have to make the rest of the way on foot. But it doesn't bother me because I know how important our service is to people. I'm proud to say that in my eight years doing this job, the weather has never once prevented me from reaching someone."  

Thanks to John, Graham and everyone in the Community Meals team for giving us an inside view of their service and taking the time to share their stories.

For information on how the council prepares for emergencies including severe weather, visit

You can also read about our flooding and gritting teams who keep Renfrewshire moving in severe weather conditions.

Published on Friday 22 March 2024