To be honest I’m not normally a massive fan of the hairy bikers cookery programmes, but this one totally changed the way I felt about them. The programme was first aired in 2011. It was a really good ‘feel good’ show about them creating meals that could be delivered to the elderly in a small village. I think a lot of us don’t really think about the elderly unless we have elderly grand parents or parents ourself. It was a real eye opener to how vulnerable and alone the elderly can be. It brought a tear to my eye! I’m really lucky as both of my grandparents are 77 and still very capable of looking after themselves and cooking meals. In fact they are never in as they always have some social event to attend! I really hope I’m like them when I’m older- they are very inspirational to me!
Anyway, back to the programme… The whole enterprise ‘Meals on Wheels’ was run by volunteers. It’s amazing how many good people are out there who want to give a couple of hours time to people who really appreciate it. It’s quite shocking how the elderly featured in the programme, really relied on these visit and meals each week. I think to the majority of them, it wasn’t just about getting some yummy, balanced and healthy food, it was about the company. For that half an hour or so they could chat away and you could see how happy they were. That feeling must be worth their weight in gold! I’ve had experience of this myself. Last Christmas me and my good friend Nichola volunteered on Christmas Day for a hospice in Leeds.
All the patients in this hospital were seriously ill from cancer- it was very sad to see. It was a mixture of all ages. It was our job to work alongside the nurses and other volunteers, to serve them Christmas dinner. To me, it wasn’t just about the Christmas dinner, the way some of the patients just enjoyed the company and having a chat. I learnt a lot that day about the patients lives, and it made me realise just how lucky I am! It also makes me sad to think that the friends I made that day are no longer around, but I feel happy that for that day I made them smile! This is how the programme made me feel.
I think we all should take inspiration from the programme and help our local elderly. It might be that there are no food delivery programmes in your area, but there are so many other ways you can help! You can volunteer at your local hospice, old people home, or just look after the elderly in the complex where you live. Don’t forget, we all get old and it’s lovely to think that some stranger could be there for us too! Go on, give up some of your spare time to help the elderly in your community!!!!