As winter draws in the temperature will start to drop – as does the level of social interaction that many of Staffordshire’s lonely and isolated older people have on a daily basis.
But this winter, you can spread some cheer and make new friends by signing up to Casserole Club, Staffordshire’s new community project where volunteer ‘cooks’ share a meal with a ‘diner’ – a local neighbour who would benefit from a home-cooked meal.
Over 4,000 people across the country and 50 people in Staffordshire alone have already signed up to cook for older neighbours and we are constantly overwhelmed by their enthusiasm, generosity and kindness.
Cooks prepare a meal in their own home, popping a portion in a container and dropping it round later that day to an older neighbour we’ve matched them with.
Often our cooks stay for a cup of tea and a chat too. It’s a great, simple way of getting to know our neighbours, sharing delicious and nutritious meals and encouraging lasting friendships within the local community.
Sharing a weekly meal
How often you cook is up to you, but most people find that sharing a weekly meal is a good way to keep up regular visits without making it a burden.
Neil Blackwood was one of the first Staffordshire cooks to join Casserole Club. Neil said: “When I first heard about the project I knew I had to sign up. I’m a perfect candidate for Casserole club. I live on my own and when I cook, I usually do plenty, so I definitely would have portions to share. It also means I don’t have to eat the same thing for four nights running.
Casserole Club is a great idea and I know that there are lots of older neighbours living near me who would definitely benefit from the company and a wholesome meal so I’m looking forward to getting matched up with a diner.
If you often have a spare portion of dinner and want to make a difference to an older person near you, how about joining Casserole Club rather than throwing it away?
Joining Casserole Club is easy and can be done at www.casseroleclub.com or by calling 0300 111 8006.
The website has a simple search engine so that once an application is confirmed it is easy for nearby diners and cooks to find each other.