Working for Wye - past, present and future

2. Community Cafe

The community cafe project aims to provide an informal and affordable local meeting place, and to serve affordable, nutritious, local food.

The facility will also double as a teaching kitchen. This will enable people of all ages and especially those living on their own, to experiment with recipes, gain new skills and confidence and enjoy learning about good nutrition, buying ingredients and cooking on a budget.

Encouraging social eating will support several priority issues for Wye, particularly isolation, nutrition and well being. A community cafe will also aid local communications, and help to build individual networks and community cohesion. This project is also inter-generational, and can offer wide-reaching health and well being benefits.

The key challenges for this project are first, to find suitable premises and the resources to make the food nutritious, affordable and attractive for residents, and second, to develop a business case for the cafe which shows that it can operate as a viable and sustainable social enterprise.

The MyPlace support team produced a good practice guide to running a community cafe. This provides a useful introduction to the common issues and pitfalls involved.

"Prevention and treatment of malnutrition should be at the heart of everything we do to ensure older people can live more independent, fulfilling lives."

Mission statement

The Malnutrition Task Force's mission is to make a major difference to the health and quality of life of older people, and bring about significant savings across health and social care, by reducing the number of older people at risk of malnutrition. We will….

  • Raise awareness of malnutrition amongst older people and their families
  • Ensure that all professionals understand their role in preventing and treating malnutrition
  • Demonstrate what good nutritional care looks like and help organisations achieve it
  • Build the case for greater investment in treatment and prevention across the board
  • Make sure the wider public sector, local and national government, companies and third sector organisations working with older people understand what they can do to tackle malnutrition

Kent County Council is running one of five Malnutrition Prevention Programme pilot projects, funded by the Department of Health. The aim if the programme is to significantly reduce the number of people aged 65 and over in the five pilot areas, who are malnourished.

The Malnutrition Programme is part of the Government's response to the Francis Report into failings at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

The Malnutrition Task Force is an independent group of experts across health, social care and local government united to address avoidable and preventable malnutrition in older people.

Malnutrition, characterised by low body weight and weight loss, is a major cause and consequence of poor health and older people are particularly vulnerable.

Over 3 million people across the UK are either malnourished, or at risk of malnourishment. Over 1 million are over the age of 65, and some 93% of these people are living in the community.

(extracts from the Malnutrition Task Force website)


Why is nutrition so important? The report Malnutrition among Older People in the Community estimated that "1 in 10 people aged over 65 years are suffering from, or are at risk of malnutrition in England and Wales". Another study published in Clinical Nutrition of 996 patients with no previous history of malnutrition, showed that the "healthcare cost of managing malnourished patients was more than twice that of managing non-malnourished patients, due to increased use of healthcare resources. After adjusting for age and co-morbidity, malnutrition remained an independent predictor of mortality."

In summary, malnourished people:

  • saw their GP twice as often,
  • had 3 times the number of hospital admissions and
  • stayed in hospital more than 3 days longer than those who were well nourished

(Guest, J. F., Panca, M., Baeyens, J.P., de Man, F., Ljungqvist, O., Pichard, C.,Wait, S & Wilson, L. (2011) 'Health economic impact of managing patients following a community-based diagnosis of malnutrition in the UK', Clinical Nutrition, Volume 30, Issue 4 , Pages 422-429, August 2011)

Last updated: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 20:51