Hattie Lambrou, founder
I live in Streatham with my husband and two young children.
I've wanted to do something to help lonely older people in my area for a while. I set up Home Cooks Project, a local, community initiative, because I love cooking and believe food is a brilliant way of bringing people together.
How it started
I started cooking for my neighbour, Helen, in November 2016. I didn't know Helen particularly well; we would chat occasionally when I passed her on the street or she was in her front garden. One day she mentioned she was losing weight and her doctor had told her she needed to eat more, but she didn't feel like cooking just for herself most evenings. So I offered to help.
It took a bit of persuasion but quickly became a regular arrangement and six months on I still take a plate over to Helen every Tuesday. It isn't much trouble really. I just make a bit more of whatever I happen to be cooking that evening.
Often my children help too (they particularly love chopping for some reason.) Then they squabble over who gets to carry the plate and proudly tell Helen they helped make it. My husband likes it because he gets slightly nicer meals on a Tuesday!
I set up Home Cooks Project soon afterwards to help other people in the area cook for their older neighbours too. We seem to keep ourselves to ourselves a lot more in cities, so although many would like to help, they don't know where the people in need are. Others might know of somebody but aren't quite sure how to go about approaching them. This is where Home Cooks Project comes in!