Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels – episode 3

September 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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meals on wheels logoLast night Si King and Dave Myers made their way to Slaithwaite, a small town in West Yorkshire where Meals on Wheels were stopped completed due to lack of funding. In the episode the Hairy Bikers’ faced a new challenge of not only finding volunteers but creating a Meals on Wheels service from scratch.

It was 12 business women who came to Slaithwaite’s rescue to work alongside Si and Dave and create the new Meals on Wheels service. The ladies have great spirit and showed tremendous amount of commitment; it’s great to see professional people finding the time to help proving that everyone can make a difference.

Although the ladies beam with enthusiasm the Hairy Bikers wanted to ensure that they understood the elderly people who they would be visiting. So they carried out shock tactics and put volunteer Julie into isolation for 48 hours, allowing her to get a feel for the loneliness which many elderly people feel regularly.

This lack of human contact really struck a chord with Julie who felt lonely, rejected and empty. Ultimately the experience pushed the Slaithwaite ladies to make a serious commitment to deliver delicious meals and importantly offer a friendship to elderly people of their community.

Slathwaite ladies

Slathwaite ladies

A huge problem facing Slaithwaite was funding. Inspired by the ladies previous fundraising campaign – a nude calendar, Si and Dave bared all to get the word out about Meals on Wheels. Photographed behind their motorbikes with only a cabbage to cover their dignity, the risqué image were printed onto t-shirts for locals to buy and definitely got the community talking rising an incredible £1000 for the kitty.  

So with a team of volunteers, money in the bank and the best Slaithwaite recipes the only thing they had to do was execute a fantastic first delivery. It’s fair to say that it wasn’t faultless but after a little organisation and delegation it was a true triumph. The proof was in the pudding as a serving of Shepherd’s Pie really did make one elderly residents day!

This has most certainly been my favourite episode so far as it’s great to see Slaithwaite come together. Their community spirit offers inspiration to other villages, towns and cities around the country to make their Meals on Wheels a success once again.

Watch Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels on BBC iplayer now also visit BBC’s Hairy Bikers’ website to find volunteer opportunities in your community.

hairy bikers nude photo

The Hairy Bikers doing that bit for Meals on Wheels

 
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Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels Episode 2

September 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I tuned into the second episode of The Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels on BBC Two last night to see how Si King and Dave Myers are getting on in the campaign to relight the Meals on Wheels fire!

Still based in Elmbridge, Surrey where Meals on Wheels are provided to the elderly by the local authority. The Hairy Bikers delved deeper into the problems which the service has to tackle before success can truly happen…. more volunteers.

si and dave MOW

As a professional business woman I’m strongly aware of the importance of a brand identity. Without such a brand isn’t cohesive- it really is that simple. At Bath-Knight we rely heavily upon our brand to tie everything together so that our customers know who were are. The lack of identity within Meals on Wheels was an unavoidable problem in last night’s show. As Si and Dave discovered that people knew about Meals on Wheels but didn’t know where they should go to get more information. This coupled with the out-dated and lacklustre promotional material lead the Hairy Bikers’ to leading creative agency Saatchi X.

help-wanted-meals-on-wheels logoThe outcome was fantastic branding which give Meal on Wheels a great identity that is importantly attractive to all. Finished with the tagline ‘Delivering a Difference’ to entice people to offer a helping hand, whether it be delivering a meal or washing pots and pans in the kitchen.

The show brilliantly displayed the variety of people willing to help out after been given a positive nudge by the Hairy Bikers’. With the help of Si and Dave volunteers came from all different walks of life from a young mum, a freelance worker who has free time and a young unemployed gentleman who was looking for something positive to fill his days.

The Hairy Bikers’ also called on the local catering college to get young creative minds to come up with delicious dishes to be included in the Meals on Wheels menu. The results were fantastic and even better the students offered their time in the kitchen too.

Hairy Bikers Meals on Wheels

Not to disappoint Si and Dave (with lots of help from the students) treated the town to the largest ever meals on wheels offering a portion of homemade cottage pie and slice of cake to those who were willing to volunteer their time to help feed the elderly people within their community.

The series is incredibly positive and the results are splendid to watch as clients are receiving ‘10/10’ meals which are delivered with a friendly smile. Next week Si and Dave are in Yorkshire seeing how they can help better Meals on Wheels elsewhere in the country.

To find voluntary position in your local area – click here and watch Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels on BBC iplayer

Hairy Bikers Meals on Wheels Campaign

September 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Many of my readers will know that I love to enjoy great food with great company. For my most recent birthday I received a fabulous collection of recipes compiled by my closest friends, relatives and colleagues which remind me (and them) of fond memories together.

This passion for great food drew my attention to a new series which aired on BBC two last Tuesday night. Hosted by Dave Myers and Si King known to many foodies as the ‘Hairy Bikers’ we see the two investigate ‘Meals on Wheels’, the institution which has fed vulnerable elderly people here in Britain since the war and why it is falling into decline.

hairy bikers meals on wheels

Having watched Tuesday’s episode it’s sad to see that Meals on Wheels has become so out dated and unstaffed. Staggeringly in recent years the meals delivered to elderly people has been cut by a third. This is generally down to the complexity to which the Meals on Wheels system works.

I wasn’t aware of the ‘postcode lottery’ which the iconic culinary service holds as service providers vary from local authorities to privately owned business and charities. But essentially it is volunteers who are the back bone of Meals on Wheels. Those who delivery meals to our grandparents and elderly neighbours but sadly willing volunteers are in decline too.

To make a gloomy picture seem a little duller watching Si and Dave try out what Meals on Wheels actually offer to their clients is also saddening. For those who are lucky enough to receive a meal are often left with a bundle of frozen fodder or a warm meal which has been cooked from frozen supplies. It was surprising to see that a Meals on Wheels kitchen in Elmsbridge wasn’t even supplied with kitchen knives never mind fresh veggies to peel, chop and dice.

meals on wheels delivery

So the Hairy Bikers have a mission… to make a change and give the elderly people quality food, healthy food and a great variety of fresh food from Meals on Wheels which they all very much deserve. Additionally they want to create a more up to date image of Meals on Wheels, one which people will want to be involved with, hopefully introducing a new generation to the once British phenomenon.

Episode one introduced 77 year old Grace, 88 year old Gloria and 81 year old Sue who have all decided their time for decades. But it’s essential to get more people on board to offer a larger variety and more social interaction for the elderly people who depend heavily on Meals on Wheels for food and friendship. And the Hairy Bikers plan to make this happen.

Hairy Bikers Meals on Wheels

I do hope that Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels inspires people to help make a difference as the passion which Si and Dave have is incredibly inspiring to watch. Personally I loved to watching the show and really am anticipating next week’s episode as its documents a wonderful campaign, delicious food and importantly sheds light on the hard fact that unless change happens; fresher food, better meal choices and more volunteers the services available for our ever growing aging population looks grim.

For more information visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/hairybikers and watch on BBC iPlayer

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