Support Older People’s Day & tell us who’s #FullofLife!

A special day is taking place this week, which is very close to our hearts so we simply had to get involved. Casserole Club will be supporting Older People’s Day (1st October) and we’d love you to be involved!

Celebrate your special older person

Tell us something amazing or fun about them and how they are full of life. This could be some nugget of advice they gave you, a story about the past, what they’re doing today, or what they hope to do in the coming years. Anything goes! We’re all about celebrating people who have lived a full life that we can all take inspiration from.

Tell their story

So, tell us something about your nan, great Uncle Frank or whoever’s made a lasting impression on you. Tweet us @Casserole_Club with the hashtag  #FullOfLife or post a story on our Facebook page.

(Example: “My gran would really like Casserole Club. She was a dancer when she was younger, and she still keeps fit with dance classes in town!”)

Paul Mitchell/delicious magazine

Casserole Club diner, Diane | Paul Mitchell /delicious magazine

Suggest to win

We’re happy to say Casserole Club is growing and we are always on the lookout for older people who might want to join as a Diner. If you know someone who could benefit from a home-cooked meal and a friendly chat, why not suggest them to us?

Suggesting diners doesn’t mean that you’re signing them up to Casserole Club. It’s just gives us the opportunity to see if they would be interested in joining up either now or in the future when we come to their area.

If you suggest someone, you’ll not only be introducing them to the joys of Casserole Club but you’ll also be entered to a free draw for the chance to receive a signed cookbook from Casserole Club’s very own volunteer cook and winner of Celebrity Masterchef 2014 Sophie Thomson. Sophie’s new book My Family Kitchen is a treat for any food lover!

So spread the word about Older People’s Day and let’s share some great stories!

Find Casserole Club online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Happy National Friendship Day!

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Jess & Claire 2015

This Sunday, 2nd August is “National Friendship Day.” So what a better time to start getting to know some of your neighbours by sharing a home cooked meal and starting a new friendship?

Casserole Club helps bring people together over the dinner table by putting volunteers who like cooking in touch with others who would benefit from a home cooked meal every now and then.

Are you a keen cook who’d like to give back to the community and make a new friend? Do you know someone who might benefit from a friendly chat and a tasty meal from a neighbour? If so, get in touch with us today on 020 3475 3444 or visit www.casseroleclub.com.

Claire and Jess are Barnet residents who have become friends by sharing meals through Casserole Club. Claire lives on her own, so having Jess visit her on a weekly basis is something she really values. Claire says, “Jess is very sweet and generous. I really appreciate and enjoy her food…”

“Seeing Jess every week is so lovely and she’s now a friend to me.”

Jess has also loved getting involved with Casserole Club She says, “I look forward to Tuesday night, I really do. I look forward to going round and seeing Claire and it takes such a little part of my time – maybe half an hour – but that is half an hour she really, really enjoys and she gets to tell me about her life and how her week has been.”

Jess and Claire’s story was recently featured on ITV’s “Tonight” programme. We’ll be posting a clip from the episode shortly, so stay tuned.

Casserole Club has helped shared over 2,000 meals across the UK and this number is continuing to rise! To get involved by becoming a cook or by receiving a fresh home-cooked meal, give us a call on 020 3475 3444 or visit our website at www.casseroleclub.com.

And if you don’t think you’d be able to share a meal but still want to support the project, drop us an email at hello@casseroleclub.com as we’re always looking for a helping hand.

Six Months in Australia…

“I joined casserole because our family likes home cooking and I believe it’s important for my children to develop a strong sense of community” – Monique, cook

“I couldn’t ask for a better person to be matched with.” – Casserole diner

“I joined the Casserole Club as I realised it matched my love of cooking with being able to help someone else. I’ve had great fun trying out new recipes to share.” – Casserole cook

These are just some of the reasons people enjoy being part of Casserole.

 

Woman delivering food to an older neighbour

Sharing a meal in Victoria, Australia.

We’re pretty excited to be celebrating 6 months in Australia. A massive thank you to the City of Boroondara , Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Moreland City Council for getting Casserole off to such a fantastic start. With over 160 meals shared already we’re looking forward to reaching even more cooks and diners around the country.

We already have people in more than 40 other areas of Australia signed up and waiting for Casserole to go live in their town or suburb. We’re hoping to be in more parts of Australia soon so if you’re keen to see Casserole set up in your local area register at www.casseroleclub.com.au so we know where you are.

Casserole celebrates four months in Australia by appearing on national radio

Casserole Club began in Australia four months ago, but sometimes it feels like much longer ago given all the great support the project has had from people all the way from Melbourne to Tassie to Perth to Queensland – basically all the way around Australia!

While we’re still trialling in the local Victorian Government areas of Moreland, Boroondara and Macedon Ranges we’re hoping to set up in other parts of the State, and country, soon. Get in touch if you’d like to see Casserole in your local area.

It’s been fantastic to get to know all of our cooks and diners over the last few months. Here are some links so you can share some of the great stories about people sharing meals and getting to know each other.

And a big thanks to the MAV for bringing the concept to Australia and the Department of Health for funding the Casserole Club project in Victoria.

Interview with the ABC’s Radio National:

Mark and Monique talk about the great friendship that has developed between them since they joined Casserole:

Video of how Casserole Club works:

Margaret and Kathy share their story and also give a great overview of just how Casserole works:

Kathy and Margaret have been sharing meals for 3 months now and it’s great to hear Kathy say of Margaret “She makes me laugh so it’s always nice to see her”.

Inspired by Kathy and Margaret? Find out more and sign up to Casserole Club Australia at www.casseroleclub.com.au

How you can make #WinterWarmer for older people across the UK

Casserole_Christmas_Campaign_Header

Research from Age UK shows that people more than 50% of those over 80 years of age in the UK are lonely. This same research also suggests that malnutrition amongst older people is increasing. It is estimated that 1.3 million people aged over 65 suffer from malnutrition, which most of the time is preventable.

That’s why Casserole Club are calling on people across the UK to pledge to share a portion of good home-cooked food with an older neighbour this winter.

We want you to get involved and help make #WinterWarmer.

Casserole Winter Warmer Quote

You don’t have to cook a meal for an older neighbour, though it is one of the ways you can help. Calling round on an older neighbour or family member in the long dark evenings, offering to pick up the newspaper or shopping if it’s cold and icy out, or simply pick up the phone and see how they’re doing – just some ideas of how you can make winter warmer.

And don’t think that our diners (as we like to call them) will just sit back and take your cooking. They’ll make #WinterWarmer for you with their glowing welcome, warming friendship and overall good company.

Casserole Winter Warmer Quote

Take 92 year old Janet Oran, from Tamworth in Staffordshire, for example. She’s been regularly having meals prepared for her by Clare Bradford, when the pair were matched up as part of Casserole Club.

“This is a really nice project and I’m so glad I signed up to it. I don’t see as many people as I used to, so the visit from Clare every Wednesday with the dinner is great.  She is very friendly and always stays for about half an hour so we can have a good chat about what’s going on in the world.  Clare’s meals are lovely and it’s so nice to have one cooked for you.  I don’t mind doing myself a sandwich but cooking a hot dinner is getting more difficult for me and not really worth it when there’s only me.” – Janet, Casserole diner

“I think Casserole Club is a great project and it’s such a simple idea. I love cooking, but I always cook far too much so it makes so much sense to share any extras with people who aren’t able to cook for themselves. It also saves just eating the extra portions yourself just so you don’t waste them!” – Clare, Casserole cook

You can find lots more stories like this over on this new page that describes the story of a Casserole Club meal share.

The Casserole Club team will be sharing more ways you can help on the Casserole Club website, Facebook page and Twitter feed using the hashtag #WinterWarmer.

Join the campaign at www.casseroleclub.com and help make #WinterWarmer.

Prepare to be Blown Away – Introducing the Caring Cooks of Jersey

A couple of weeks ago Melissa posted on our Facebook page to say she’d been inspired to start a similar community project in Jersey, after reading about Casserole in Waitrose magazine. After just a few months, Caring Cooks of Jersey has already grown to 40 volunteers cooking around 100 meals a week!

When Melissa first decided to start offering to cook for anyone going through a hard time, she was inundated with offers of help – and new people are still joining in every week. With so much help, Melissa was struggling to find people to cook for, and so got in touch with the local foodbank to offer meals to their community. This is now one of the main places the Caring Cooks support, allowing the foodbank to supply quality, nutritious, home-cooked frozen meals to their users, along with the normal food parcels – which is fantastic.

As well as the foodbank, the group have cooked for a women’s refuge whilst their kitchen was being refurbished, and regularly cook for a number of families – including a family of 7 where mum has serious heart problems and faces surgery soon.

The Caring Cooks’ Facebook group is full of posts that we can really only describe as heart-warming. It’s clearly a community of love, and also one that beginning to come together to do more than just cook meals.

A picnic in the park for everyone involved is planned for the summer, and they are beginning to run volunteer cooking days with local businesses. Cooks share recipe ideas, what they’re cooking, and are constantly lending each other equipment and donating food (a post today offers two chickens to anyone that can use them).

The whole of the Casserole team has been really touched to hear about the amazing work being done by the Caring Cooks of Jersey, and the fantastic impact they’re having on their community.

If you’re in Jersey and want to get involved, drop us a comment below, and we’ll put you in touch.

Keep up the good work, Caring Cooks!

Update: This post has sat in our drafts folder for a few weeks, and since we wrote it, the Caring Cooks have announced plans to start their own foodbank in partnership with a local community centre. How amazing is that?!

All photos from the Caring Cooks Facebook Group – thanks!

Happy Volunteers’ Week from Casserole Club!

Casserole Club Volunteers Week

Our Cooks are great and – as it’s Volunteer’s Week, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate the amazing work of the Casserole Club community to say a huge thank you!

So far, over 4,000 people across the country have signed up to Cook for older neighbours and we are constantly overwhelmed by their enthusiasm, generosity and kindness.

Casserole Club connects volunteers in the community (We call them Cooks) to older neighbours who would appreciate a home-cooked meal (We call them Diners). 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.

Casserole Club has made a massive difference to the lives of people involved, inspiring both Cooks and Diners to eat healthy fresh meals.

As 71 year old Laurie says:

“Having Lyn (Cook) in my life has given me the impetus to eat better and nourish my body more, it’s great, i’m very grateful for this service”

But it’s not just about the food, new Cook Caroline who has just started sharing meals with Anna in Tower Hamlets says:

“Safe to say I think I have made a new friend”.

Despite leading a busy London life Caroline finds it relaxing to volunteer with Casserole Club as it gives her the opportunity to savour the simple things, encouraging her to make time to cook and enjoy sharing food with someone new!

So thank you to all of our amazing volunteers.

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?

You can signup online on the Casserole Club website.

Also if you know someone who might benefit from being a Diner with Casserole Club please do get in touch by emailing us at hello@casseroleclub.com.

P.S. We’ve been nominated in the Tech4Good awards, so if you’d like to support our volunteers, please do vote for us as the People’s Choice: http://www.tech4goodawards.com/vote

Taste the Difference: Casserole Club featured in Sainsbury’s Magazine

Casserole Club in Sainsbury's Magazine

Could cooking up an extra batch of meat and potatoes help bring a smile to someone’s face?

That’s the question asked in a Sainsbury’s Magazine article featuring Casserole Club.

In a brilliant double page article called “Casserole Crusader”, journalist and Casserole Cook Becky Howard describes her relationship with her lovely Diner Louie, who she has been sharing meals with through Casserole since last year.

“With the focus on strengthening community bonds, getting more people eating fresh food and reaching out to lonely elderly people, it seemed like something I’d actually be able to incorporate into my life.

It would be easy to portion off a big meal to deliver to a neighbour. And I love cooking.

Inspired, I signed up.”

The article story goes on to explain how Becky applied to be a Casserole Club Cook and the process she went through before being matched up with her Diner Louie, so it’s a great read for anyone who wants to find out more about a new Casserole Cook’s experience.

We are always looking for new Cooks, if you want to get involved in Casserole Club, go to http://casseroleclub.com to sign up.

If you know someone who could benefit from a regular home-cooked meal in Staffordshire, Barnet, Tower Hamlets, Whitstable or Reigate & Banstead, drop us a line at hello@casseroleclub.com or call us on 020 3475 3444.

“Happy Meals”: Casserole Club featured in Red magazine



Casserole Club in Red Magazine - Happy Meals

We are really excited that Casserole Club has been featured in March’s issue of Red Magazine, one of our favourite lifestyle magazines!

In a beautiful double page spread, journalist Natasha Lunn meets with our fabulous Cook Oruj and her lovely Diner Munna who have been sharing meals through Casserole since last year.

Here’s a sneek preview of the article to whet your appetite:

“Sharing food is, and always has been, a bonding experience. And as warm, spicy smells of vegetable stew waft around the room, the sociable and inclusive mood is infectious.

An hour into my visit, I realise the food on the table is just an incidental extra. For Munna, the benefits are obvious: something to look forward to, some company and, most importantly, ‘a chance to laugh’. I sense that she, like so many other elderly people, has stark moments of loneliness.”

The heartwarming story goes on to explain how Munna and Oruj (and her children) have become really good friends through Casserole Club, showing that there’s much more to a Cook and Diner’s relationship than just sharing food.

Read more about Oruj and Munna’s story on the Red magazine website: “Why you should volunteer for Casserole Club”

We are always looking for new Cooks, if you want to get involved in Casserole Club, go to http://casseroleclub.com to sign up.

If you know someone who could benefit from a regular home-cooked meal in Barnet, Reigate and Banstead, Tower Hamlets or Staffordshire, drop us a line at hello@casseroleclub.com or call us on 020 3475 3444.


New Video on Casserole Club and Food for the Elderly

Food For The Elderly - Watch Casserole Club

Beth Price from Bournemouth University has put together a brilliant video of Casserole Club as part of her Food for the Elderly project:

“British families throw away the equivalent of six meals worth of food every week, meals that could easily be shared with an elderly neighbour who struggles with cooking.

One London based scheme is determined to tackle the issue of malnutrition and isolation by bringing people together over food.

With the number of meals-on-wheels being delivered decreasing year by year community initiatives are becoming even more important and you can find out more about the work Casserole Club is doing by watching the video below.”

As part of the video, Beth interviewed Carrie Bishop, who helped start Casserole Club. Here’s what Carrie had to say about the project:

“We thought food is clearly a social object, it’s something that brings people together. Soe started to think is there a way for communities could cook for each other. We had the idea of Casserole Club and we started to test it out at bit. People really seemed to respond really well to the idea, which is why we decided to take it forward.”

As Beth mentions at the end of her video, if you’d like to get involved with Casserole Club as cook, or you know someone who would benefit from having a hot meal delivered to their door, then visit the website and sign up.

There’s no pressure for you to cook multiple meals, you can just cook and deliver one meal and leave the club again but if you enjoy it you can keep cooking for the same people as often as you would like.

Even if the Casserole Club isn’t in your area yet, you can still register your interest by signing up online.

Thanks for the great video, Beth!