Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New Hairy Bikers: Meals on Wheels

A brand new Hairy Bikers series starts tonight on BBC2. Tune in at 9pm tonight to see the first in a four part series, named Meals on Wheels.

Dave and Si are back!!!
In this brand new programme the Bikers decide to tackle a very serious issue, being the provision of 'Meals on Wheels' to the elderly.

Meals on Wheels dates back to post-war Britain when the country united to deliver hot meals to “the aged and infirm people in the town who were experiencing a difficult time owing to the fact that the able and stronger people who had assisted them were now performing war-time duties.”

The fact that this service is now under threat is even more of a shock considering that in the next 25 years the number of people aged 60 plus is expected to rise to half of the population.

The Bikers are determined to encourage members of the community to engage with their local service, while developing recipes to improve the quality of the meals being offered.

And not that I really want to stand up on my soap box and rant (actually who am I kidding?!), but the subject of the elderly care is close to my heart, and with all the benefit provisions for the unemployed currently in place, we don't seem to be looking after our elders! These are the people who took care of us and probably taught us to cook in the first place!

And apparently Dave agrees with me, saying, "It is a subject very close to our hearts. When we found out that Meals on Wheels were under threat and that we were in danger of losing one of the most important services society can offer."

As a massive HB fan I am very excited, and what else could I do to mark the occassion but bake a pie? My chicken, bacon and mushroom puff pastry pie cooked in my Godmother's pie dish will most definitely cheer up my day. Have a go at my shortcut recipe here.

To celebrate the new Hairy Bikers series
Chicken, bacon and mushroom pie

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

20 comments:

  1. well done to you guys,why don't we use people on community service to wash up and help in kitchens? and help feed our elderly people who deserve it very much,,,

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  2. Hi there as i am a care worker looking after the elderly i found your programme very interesting . I am also a scout leader and we are currently doing out chefs badge.Is there anyway that we could link our scouts with the meals on wheels effort bearing in mind that the kids are at school during the day.

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  3. Prompted by your excelent program, I have applied to become a Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer in North Tyneside.
    However, it is not as simple as that.
    I have been sent a full job application form eleven pages long, requiring evey possible detail of my past education and full employment history, not to mention my ethnic origin, relationship status, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.
    This is beyond a joke. No wonder so many people are put off becoming volunteers with this level of useless bureaucracy. I know they need security checks but this is rediculous.

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  4. It would be great if Si and Dave would mention that most cities and towns have a Volunteer Centre. These specialise in helping people find local volunteering opportunities, as well as finding volunteers for voluntary organisations. You can find your nearest Volunteer Centre by visiting the Volunteering England website: www.volunteering.org.uk. There are links from this website to the equivalent organisations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Thanks a million to all involved in Si and Dave's campaign on behalf of the Meals on Wheels services around the country. Let's do all we can to ensure the services are rejuvenated and enabled to continue, now and for the future!

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  5. How sad an indictment of our society, when such an invaluable service to our elderly folk, is only highlighted by The Hairy Bikers. What has our country come to?

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  6. WHAT A FANTASTIC IDEA. WELL DONE. BOTH MY HUSBAND AND MYSELF THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT.

    TO EXTEND THE IDEA, WHY DON'T THE CHILDREN GET INVOLVED DURING THE SHCOOL HOLIDAYS. NOT ONLY WOULD IT GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO DO, AS THEY ARE ALWAYS COMPLAINING THERE IS NOTHING FOR THEM TO DO, THEY WILL LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE AND THE ELDERLY PEOPLE WOULD THOROUGHLY ENJOY SEEING AND SPEAKING TO THE CHILDREN. SURELY,THIS WOULD THEN ENCOURAGE THE CHILDREN TO CARRY ON THIS GOOD WORK.
    WELL DONE TO THE HAIRY BIKERS.

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  7. Dear Hairy Bikers.

    How can I get in touch with your good and hairy selves to discuss the state of the Meals on Wheel service in my area?

    I am presently employed as a Meals on Wheel lady but am so disheartened by what we have to dish up and the precious little amount of time we can spend with our lovely oldies. I would love to see if you could help bring about some changes to improve the service here.

    I daren't post my name or contact details here, as I'd probably get the sack for bringing this to your attention. However, if you could point me in the direction of some direct contact details, I'll get in touch via them.

    Thank you XX

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  8. I agree with the previous post - those undertaking a community punishement order could help in the kitchen. Whilst I fully understand the need for CRB check if delivering to elderly vulnerable people in their own homes, those undertaking community service would not need that to do the washing up or peel spuds to pay back the community as a punishemnt for thier crime
    Better than having them standing on brooms or painting fences all day!

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  9. It's fantastic to read all of these comments. Thank you all so much. But I should point out that this blog is not affiliated with the Hairy Bikers in any way. I'm a massive fan and foodie, and all comments and views are my own. That being said, I will investigate ways to get your comments to the correct people.

    In response to some of the comments above, I totally agree that CRB checks and endless forms are so disheartening, but I suppose all these rules and regulations must be followed (so silly I know!) but if we can put up with it, then a difference can be made.

    I'm interested to find out if there's any services like this that run a weekends and needvolunteers

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  10. ... So thanks again and keep the comments coming? What are you doing? X

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  11. Just an idea, but has anyone thought of approaching a company such as M & B (who i work for) to see if they will volunteer to provide a premesis to cook on, staff to cook the meals and ingredients to serve to small areas?

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  12. Revd Sr. Elizabeth Shearcroft, C.A..,4 October 2011 22:10

    Hi - well done for this initiative. I nursed at Guys in the 1970's and my patients from Lambeth refused the home meal service calling it "Muck on truck" whereas the Southwark residents were glad to accept the meal service. I am now a parish priest within Lambeth and sadly still hear folk referring to a service that they wouldn't use if available to them as "muck on truck" - it will be good to hear that your campaign has had an impact on this part of London.

    Revd Sr. Elizabeth Shearcroft, C.A.,
    Immanuel & St. Andrew, Streatham

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  13. Many thanks to the Hairy Bikers for highlighting the whole picture of what meals on wheels is all about. After providing a voluntary meals on wheels service in Manchester for over 11 years its true, its not just meal that is provided, the friendship made and the praise given by the service users is irreplaceable.

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  14. You guys are amazing and truly inspirational. I so want to volunteer for a local meals on wheels programme. I live in a village near stafford in Staffordshire where there was a meals on wheels service in existence when I moved here 10 years ago. Sadly, it no longer exists and there is nothing of it's kind as far as I can see. Would love some advice guidance on how to get involved to help to ''make a difference'. Bring it on! X

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  15. To Si and Dave

    For each of the four episodes of 'Meals on Wheels', I was in tears at the state of our society when the generation who fought for our freedom, our rights and to break the class barriers are now being left and forgotten about.

    I cannot thank my family enough for taking great care of my grandparents as they got older and unable to look after themselves, the way that they took great care of me and my cousins whilst our parents went of out to work.

    As a member of a Senior Management Team in a very affluent area of Glasgow, I wonder how I can get my year group to get involved in such an initiative.

    Si and Dave, also mentioned that they didn't want to be those two guys that set up an initiative for tv and then left it to fumble on. I hope that they are considering a follow up series next year to see how the volunteers of Sloughthwaite (?) get on and the volunteers in Marsden.

    Incredibly commendable. Well done to both of you and the team who made the episodes.

    Thanks

    Steven

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  16. How about setting up local schemes where you "adopt" an elderly person and take them a hot meal at least once a week. If you're already cooking for a family, one more plate isn't going to make much difference to either expense or time.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the programme & found it be inspiring.

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  17. Very inspirational programme. I would now like to set up a Meals on Wheels service in our small community. I have identified a need for this service for at least 18 people in our village. I would be very interested to learn how to set up the service.

    Diane, Broughton-in-Furness

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  18. My Grandma, lonely as a widow, decided to volunteer as a cook for Meals on Wheels. At a tiddler's height of under 4ft 9ins, I wonder at how she managed to stir several pints of custard, let alone lift the pan of boiling potatoes. But she "wanted to cook for the old people". How old was she? 85.And she had to walk to the kitchen and back, no transport for her!Puts the rest of us to shame.
    Anon.

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  19. Smarden Good Neighbour Scheme in Kent has run a meals on wheels service from the primary school kitchen during term time and from the Flying Horse pub during school holidays. It has provided a lifeline for many, not least enabling people to return home from hospital

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  20. Hi Hairy Bikers
    I did manage to watch most of your episodes on TV and felt you guys were absolutely excellent in how you achieved such changes to some local MOW services.
    The MOW service is invaluable to my mother, 89, registered blind, and had a stroke 6 years ago. Without the service she would probably not eat, or would injure herself in the process of trying.
    I can understand how she appreciates what she receives each day - however recently she has been ill and unable to eat due to a bug. She insisted that rather that the meal going to waste I had the meal for lunch. Well I was most shocked at what she was presented with. The taste was not very nice, the presentation awful, the quality bad.
    How can we get your ideas into our local MOW service? I really dont want to upset the people that provide this valuable service, but what my mother receives each day is not nice.
    I really do think that large local companies that have canteens and restaurants for their staff could really help out the communities in which they reside. If they produce 200/300 meals a day for their employees then a further 50 meals for MOW shouldn't be a huge ask.
    Keep on with your campaign guys - you really are brilliant.
    BTW do you ever reply to any of the comments posted.
    Richard, Eastleigh, Hants

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