Meals on wheels logoLast night Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels series came to an end after four brilliant episodes which documented Si King and Dave Myers’ mission to reinvent Meals on Wheels into a service which older people of Britain could truly rely upon.

Throughout the series we’ve seen Si and Dave work in Elmbridge, Surrey and Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. In last night’s episode the pair revisited both communities to see how Meals on Wheels is progressing thus far.

The Hairy Bikers’ weren’t disappointed as although the two services have different foundations; Elmbridge is a council funded service, whereas Slaithwaite depends solely on volunteers and fundraising. The two have come on leaps and bounds since the Hairy Bikers’ first introduced their new Meals on Wheels plan.

meals on wheels team

So much so that last night’s episode had a somewhat celebratory theme. In Slaithwaite the team have mastered the basics and are now making their service a little more diverse. By offering a monthly community lunch older people are getting the chance to meet one another and eat lunch together; giving them something to look forward to and get more social interaction.

In Elmbridge, where the team work to a tight budget (only £1.25 a head) they were surprised by a rather special guest who dropping in for lunch. The Duchess of Cornwall, who is an enormous advocate of the Meals on Wheels service, joined the team and the Hairy Bikers’ to lend a recipe and meet Meals on Wheels volunteers and recipients.

meals on wheels camilla

Elsewhere with the buzz around Meals on Wheels mounting Si, Dave and their Meals on Wheels teams took to London to share the new brand identity and hopefully raise Meals on Wheels’ profile.

It was great to see famous faces join the Meals on Wheels team too. As Arlene Phillips, Ann Widdecombe, Fiona Phillips and Antonio Carluccio, who each had a personal story behind their interest in Meals on Wheels got to hear more about the service. Each pledging to do what they can to help. Fantastically Arlene offered to spare a couple of hours to deliver meals herself, proving that anyone and everyone can help to deliver a difference.

pledge cards meals on wheels

Overall the series has been quite fantastic as Si and Dave’s genuine passion to make a change really has shone.  They’ve handled the difficult task incredibly well, proving exceptional results. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more great things about local Meals on Wheels service soon.

Watch The Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels on BBC Iplayer and for more infomration including how to volunteer click here.

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The Hay Festival brings together the most influential figures in Art and Literature. This year’s festival sees Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul, actor Rob Lowe, broadcaster Chris Evans, Ceramic Artist Emma Bridgewater and children’s author Jacqueline Wilson plus many more.

Hay Festival

Held in Powys, Wales 2011’s Hay festival has really caught my eye, and I was happy to read the latest news that the Duchess of Cornwall will be attending today’s event. The Duchess will read to a group of children, tour the festival and make a speech about her passion for literature and the arts.

Camilla, who is a patron of the Hay Festival, is keen to encourage the younger generation to pick up a book and enjoy literature. She has said that her love for reading steams from childhood, where her father would read to her. Similarly Camilla read to her own children and now takes great pleasure in treating her grandchildren to a bed time story.

camilla hay festival

Much like the Duchess I love to read- I recently invested in an E-Reader, which is a fabulous way to carry a huge variety of books. It also was the perfect holiday accessory. I am hopeful that my passion for reading will also be inherited by my own grandchildren. As books are a perfect gift and I regularly send over new bedtime stories to Italy for my grandchildren to enjoy.

hay festivalIt’s great to see ‘Hay Fever’ for teens, tots and inbetween- I’m really looking forward to hearing which under 13 years old wins the 500 word writing competition after hearing some much about it on Chris Evans BBC2 Radio Breakfast show. The lucky winner is set to be announced on Friday 3rd June, a great chance to find some wonderful, young talent.

Once described as ‘The Woodstock of the mind’ with art, literature and culture all coming together to inspire and encourage there is something for everyone, and the Hay Festival is a great way to celebrate literature!

I’m following the event on The Telegraph for regular updates- click for more information.

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