Frequently Asked Questions

What is Casserole Club?

Casserole is a project that connects people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion of a delicious home-cooked meal, with older neighbours living close by who could really benefit from a meal and a friendly chat.

Like a local, community-led take-away, Casserole Club members serve up tasty, home-cooked food to their neighbours, getting more people eating and cooking fresh meals while strengthening local neighbourhood relationships with every bite.

Cooks are required to sign up on the site and undertake a short safeguarding process before they can search and contact local Diners. The Casserole team works with local organisations to help reach Diners, we also take direct referrals including from friends and relatives. Visit our suggest a Diner page to tell us about someone.

When will Casserole Club be in my area?

The Casserole project is looking to grow quickly across the UK. At the moment we are currently active in Brighton and Hove, Calderdale, and Staffordshire - if you live in one of these areas and want to find out more please email your local club:

Why are you not in my area yet?

We’ve learnt that to rollout the Casserole Club in a new area we need to work closely with local organisations like councils, housing associations and charities to sign up Diners and Cooks. It’s also really important that we provide excellent customer service to our Cooks and Diners, and so we need access to funding to grow in new areas.

We are always keen to talk with new organisations about how we might rollout in new areas, and are working hard to access funding and roll out in new areas of the UK. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we are ready to roll out in your area.

We also really keen to hear from people who might help us to make the case for a Casserole Club roll out in their area too - please get in touch at [email protected] if you can help or you want to get involved locally.

Am I required to cook a certain amount each month?

Nope! In fact you are only required to share one meal when you sign up (though we’d obviously love you to share more than once).

We understand that people are busy, and Casserole is a flexible volunteering project. We make sure that Diners understand that they shouldn’t expect to receive a meal from a Cook on a regular, routine basis. We want to make sure that Casserole works best for you, so how often and how much you cook is entirely up to you. Before you cook a meal for your Diner, we’ll put you in touch by phone so that you can discuss what you might cook and when.

What type of food do I need to cook?

Our Diners’ tastes are as diverse as our Cooks. We ask all our Diners if they have any specific dietary requirements and things they really like to eat when they sign up, so these will be on their profile which will give you some idea of what you might be cooking. However, when you get in touch to arrange a meal, we encourage you to ask what they like to eat/tell them what you like to cook and work it out between you. The idea of Casserole Club is that you are just making an extra portion rather than a meal just for your Diner, so hopefully you will find something you both like. A lot of our Cooks have said that they really enjoy the opportunity to try cooking different things.

How should I deliver my meal?

We don’t want to dictate how you deliver your meals, so do what makes the most sense for you. We would 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.

What about food hygiene?

Food hygiene is really important to us. Every Casserole Cook is asked to read through our food hygiene presentation and pass a quiz before serving up their first meal. Alongside this though, we want to develop a level of trust and accountability within our community. The whole ethos behind Casserole is that people are serving extra portions of their own food, so we trust that you will only be serving food you would be happy to eat yourself.

What is a DBS check and why do I need to do it?

A DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service) is the new version of the Criminal Records Bureau check (or CRB). As you will be visiting the homes of older and potentially more vulnerable people, we have to take safety very seriously. All our volunteer Cooks have to complete a DBS check before they are introduced to Diners.

We work with recognised providers who can process DBS checks online. We will need to check your ID as part of the DBS check, which we will arrange with you personally at a time that suits you.

What ID do I need for the DBS check?

We need to see three pieces of ID, which could be one of the following combinations:

Either: Passport + Driving Licence + Letter with your address e.g. utility bill, letter from the Council, P45 or P60

Or: Passport + 2 x letters with your address e.g. utility bill, letter from the Council, P45 or P60.

Can non-internet users use Casserole?

As much as possible we encourage Cooks to sign up to Casserole using the website, as this makes our safeguarding process much simpler. The website also gives Cooks the ability to search for local Diners and to see who else is cooking in their area, and so is 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 this internet but do want to cook - please get in touch at [email protected].

What if there are no Diners near to me?

We are signing up as many Diners as fast as we can, but we are still growing so we may not have any Diners close by straight away. New Diners are joining Casserole all the time, so check back regularly and hopefully it won’t be long until there is someone nearby. Also, if you are prepared to travel a little further, by car or bike, boat or bus, that would be great too.

I know somebody who could really benefit from Casserole Club - what do I do?

If you know of somebody living in one of our live areas (Staffordshire and Cheshire West and Chester), that could benefit as a Casserole Diner, please suggest them here.

What if something goes wrong?

If something doesn’t go to plan (eg. you need to cancel, your can’t get in touch with your Diner etc) please contact your local Casserole Club. If it's an emergency always call 999 first.

Do I have to go into the Diner’s home?

What happens when you go round to deliver a meal is totally up to you and your Diner. You may just deliver food and have a chat at the door, they might ask you in. Do whatever feels right for you. Some Cooks and Diners may want to get to know each other a little better first, others may well be up for a cuppa and a chat!

What if I have to cancel a scheduled meal?

If for some reason you cannot cook a scheduled meal, please let your Diner know as soon as you can. You can also contact your local Casserole Club to pass on a message.

Further Information

Have any questions that haven't been answered here? Get in touch with us at [email protected].