by Hattie Lambrou
Since setting up Home Cooks Project a year and a half ago, as a bit of an experiment to see if the idea of matching keen cooks with elderly people who were a bit lonely would work, its been ticking over quite nicely. Its fun matching cooks and diners; I still get excited when I look up the address of a new diner only to see there's a volunteer cook on the same road, waiting patiently to be matched. Its also been challenging. Forcing myself to do things I previously shied away from, like standing up in front of a room full of people to talk - which still makes me feel slightly sick and I’ll never be a confident public speaker - but at least I know now its highly unlikely anyone will ever laugh at me. Ok, it’s possible. But I’m thicker-skinned than I used to be too!
However, there’s only so much I can do on my own and I’m starting to see how what I do could be divided up into different roles - which makes me imagine (dare I say it) a team! (I must add at this point that something else I’ve never done is manage anybody, so it definitely wouldn't be that sort of team.)
For example, one person could have a sort of outreach role, going out into the community to help promote the scheme to older people, at information days, fairs and by dropping into sheltered housing schemes. Somebody else could have the job of signing up diners - who all need meeting in person before they can join. And as much as I love the actual matching-up bit, I think I could let it go if it meant having somebody to chat to about some minor, work-related dilemma, a luxury not usually afforded to those who work alone.
In short, if you’d like a part in running the scheme - and lets face it, help ensure Home Cooks Project continues and grows, because its people that make a project succeed - please get in touch.