Everybody needs good neighbours

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A new concept in social inclusion for the elderly has been launched in Glasgow that partners enthusiastic home cooks with elderly neighbours who can’t cook for themselves.

Meal Makers is an initiative that the charity Food Train is rolling out after the success of their pilot in Dundee last year.

A spokeswoman said: “It links volunteer cooks, who are passionate about cooking, with older neighbours who would benefit from a delicious home cooked meal.

The two-pronged project offers healthy food and a bit of company for older people.

For Debbie Wallace,from Govanhill, the idea was ideal as a new outlet for her love of cooking and a chance to help out her blind neighbour Margaret who is 82 and lives on her own.

“Margaret loves curry and spaghetti bolognese but, being blind, there are some foods that just don’t suit.

“And I have to take that into consideration when we’re talking about what to make,” said Debbie.

The two get on great and, besides Margaret’s home help, Meal Makers means Margaret can look forward to a home cooked meal and a new friend to look forward to popping in.

Debbie’s other big passion is baking and — while she was chosen to appear on the reality show Come Dine With Me, chickening out at the last minute — she says we might just see her on one of the many ‘bake-off’ TV challenges.

“I did apply to go on Come Dine With Me,” said Debbie, “but, when it came to the interview stage, I realised it’s not just about cooking for friends. It can be a bit bitchy. But I’m thinking of going on a bake-off challenge.”