It is often said that the simple ideas are the best. And by turning an everyday activity like cooking into volunteering, Meal Makers provides a flexible, close to home and very meaningful opportunity.
Meal Makers is a local neighbourhood food-sharing project that connects volunteers who have a passion for cooking and want to be active in their communities (Cooks), with older neighbours (Diners) who would appreciate a home cooked meal.
Meal Makers has just launched in the Scottish Borders – and is looking for people to join in.
So how does it work in practice? Well, when a Meal Makers cook is preparing their evening meal for themselves and their family, they will prepare one extra portion of their home cooking and take it round to an older neighbour at a time which suits both parties.
Not only does the project provide a way for older adults to enjoy freshly prepared nutritious home cooking (particularly older adults who might find it difficult to enjoy home cooking otherwise), it helps to bring communities together and combats the social isolation experienced by many members of the older population.
How often meals are shared, and when they are shared, is left entirely up to the Cook and Diner to decide between themselves. Meals are most commonly shared on a weekly basis, but they can occur fortnightly, monthly or just now and again.
If you think you could cook an extra portion for an older neighbour and live in the Scottish Borders, you can sign up online at www.mealmakers.org.uk or call 0800 783 7770
If you know someone over the age of 55 who might experience some difficulty cooking for themselves and would really welcome a bit of company, you can call Meal Makers on the number above or e-mail
“Maggie makes some really delicious dishes, but it isn’t just about the food, it’s about friendship, too. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s something I really look forward to each week. It’s strange to think that a year ago we didn’t know each other, yet now we’re like good neighbours.”
Pam – Diner
“I was so nervous when I delivered the first meal to my diner, Edith, in case she didn’t like it. In fact, she has turned out to be an adventurous diner who likes most of the same things as me despite our 60 year age gap!”
Nancy – Cook