Frequently Asked Questions



What is Meal Makers?
Meal Makers is a local neighbourhood food-sharing project that connects people who love cooking, and who are happy to share an extra portion of home cooked food, with an older neighbour who would really appreciate a freshly prepared meal and a friendly chat.

 

By turning an everyday activity into a volunteering opportunity, Meal Makers strengthens connections within communities and provides a flexible way for people to volunteer their time and skills locally in a way which suits them.
How do I apply to volunteer?
Signing up to volunteer with Meal Makers is really easy, go to www.mealmakers.org.uk and select ‘Sign up as a Cook’ to complete a quick online application form.

 

Before we can get you paired up with an older neighbour you will need to complete an online food safety quiz and a PVG (criminal record check). Once your application has been approved, you can search for nearby Diners on the site.
Can non-internet user use Meal Makers?
As much as possible we encourage Cooks to sign up to Meal Makers using the website as this makes the process much simpler. The website also gives Cooks the ability to search for local Diners and is therefore a really useful tool to help you get cooking quickly.

 

We understand that not everyone has access to the internet, and this shouldn’t stop you from being able to take part, if you can’t access the internet but want to cook, please get in touch at hello@mealmakers.org.uk or by calling 0800 783 7770.
What should I cook?
It’s completely up to you! When you are browsing the website for Diners, you can see their profiles which include their food preferences and any dietary restrictions they may have. When you call your diner for the first time, you can discuss what things you like to cook and what you would like to bring round for your first meal share.

 

A lot of our Cooks have said that they really enjoy the opportunity to try cooking different things, and over time our diners can become a bit more adventurous with their tastes and enjoy trying different things too!

 

Some older people tend to find large meals off-putting and like to eat little and often, so there’s no need to go crazy with your portion sizes!
How many times do I have to cook?
We only ask that you share one initial meal. Following this first meal share we will get in touch to make sure you both had a good experience and to find out if you would like to continue meal sharing. How often, and when, you share meals will be arranged between you and your Diner.

 

We will check in with you both every now and again to see how things are going.
How far will I have to travel?
We aim to match Cooks with Diners who live close to them, so it is usually within walking distance or a reasonable local travelling distance. However, how far you are prepared to travel is entirely up to you.

 

New diners are joining Meal Makers all the time, so if there isn’t anybody close enough to you, please keep checking back regularly, as it won’t be long before we have a diner in your local area.
How should I deliver my meal?
We recommend using a disposable take-away box or sturdy tupperware. As you get to know your Diner and if you are cooking regularly for them you might want to use crockery and pick it up when you next go round, however this is totally up to you. Microwave-safe containers are best if possible.
Do I go into the Diner's home?
That’s completely up to you and your diner. Our Diners are very friendly and will often invite you in for a cuppa and a chat, but only do that if you are comfortable. If you prefer to exchange the meal on the doorstep then that’s entirely up to you.
What if I have to cancel a scheduled meal?
If you have to cancel a meal share for any reason whatsoever then please let your Diner know as soon as possible. If you have any difficulty getting hold of your Diner then please call us straight away. If you have any other concerns please contact us as soon as possible at hello@mealmakers.org.uk or by calling 0800 783 7770.
What if something goes wrong?
If you have any concerns please contact us as soon as possible.

 

If it's an emergency always call 999 first.
What about Food Hygiene?
Food Hygiene is extremely important to us at Meal Makers and we put a number of measures in place to ensure good food preparation methods are adhered to. On signing up to Meal Makers you will be given a food safety presentation and asked to complete an online quiz. We will also email you a copy of our handbook which includes food safety tips for you and your diner.

 

As we are asking people to share an extra portion of their own food, we trust that you will only be serving food that you are happy to eat yourself.
What is a PVG check and why do I need to do it?
The Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme) will help to ensure that the people who have regular contact with vulnerable groups in Scotland through work don't have a known history of harmful or abusive behaviour. We work with Volunteer Scotland to process the PVG checks. We will need to check your ID as part of the check and we will arrange that with you personally at a time that suits you.
What ID do I need for the PVG check?
We need to see three pieces of ID, one of which needs to be photographic, and can be one of the following combinations:

 

Either: Passport + Driving License + Letter with your address (within the last 3 months) e.g. utility bill, Council letter, bank/credit card statement.

 

Or: Passport/ Driving license (photographic) + 2 x letters with your address (within the last 3 months) e.g. utility bill, Council letter, bank/credit card statement.
I know somebody who would really benefit from Meal Makers - what do I do?
If you know of somebody living in one of our live rollout areas (Dundee, Edinburgh City, Glasgow City, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Stirling and West Lothian), who would benefit as a Meal Makers Diner, please click on Suggest a Diner on the home page of our website.

 

Alternatively you can contact us at hello@mealmakers.org.uk or 0800 7837770.
When will Meal Makers be in my area?
The Meal Makers project is looking to grow quickly across Scotland. At the moment we are rolling the project out in Dundee, Edinburgh City, Glasgow City, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Stirling and West Lothian.

 

If you are interested in volunteering to be a cook, and do not live in one of these areas, please still sign up as this allows us to establish demand in other areas.
Further Information
If you have any questions that haven't been answered here, please get in touch with us at hello@mealmakers.org.uk or by calling us on 0800 783 7770.