Volunteers Heather Fisher and Matt Venn getting the meals ready

Around 800 meals are being prepared, cooked, packed, stored and delivered to Carers Oxfordshire to give them a break from their often exhausting routine in a brilliant new charity initiative by Thomas Franks called Feet up Fridays.

The amazing Thomas Franks Feeding Communities team is working alongside Begbroke Science Park to deliver this new package, which is delighting Oxfordshire’s unpaid carers up and down the county.

“The scheme is such an enormous help because I have a chronic condition which means I barely manage to do the basic things myself”

Raj Singh, Thomas Franks’ Charity Coordinator with the Feet up Fridays volunteer team at Begbroke Science Park

One carer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “The scheme is such an enormous help because I have a chronic condition which means that I barely manage to do the basic things myself.

“I also find it is a chore to work out what meals to prepare due to the brain fog and exhaustion of the symptoms of my own disability. Plus I have an autistic teenager and an elderly mother. So the scheme has helped the whole household and relieved the burden.”

WHEN WE WERE OUT ON THE ROAD DELIVERING THESE MEALS WE CAME TO REALISE WHAT A DIFFERENCE THEY MADE

Following the successful launch of their first campaign in August, Feet up Fridays is in its third outreach, with plans to continue as long as it’s needed. To date Feet Up Fridays has made 2400 meals for 140 families  with 32 menu options catered for.

Feet up Friday meals

Raj Singh, Thomas Franks’ Charity Coordinator said: “Giving unpaid carers a night off from cooking lets them know that we appreciate what they are doing and gives them a boost of energy to carry on in their role.”

Dean Collins, Head of Thomas Franks’ Feeding Communities said: “When we started Feet Up Fridays we had no idea what to expect but when we were out on the road delivering these meals we came to realise what a difference they made.” 

“We are hoping to run ‘feet up fridays’ every month, if we continue receiving the support and funding to allow this”

The Thomas Franks Foundation, started by Frank and Emma Bothwell, owners of the contract catering company, Thomas Franks based in Hook Norton, feeds and supports vulnerable communities and individuals. In the last 18 months alone, they have provided over 1 million free meals. READ ABOUT IT HERE: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/we-will-keep-goingone-million-free-meals-and-counting-the-thomas-franks-mission-to-end-food-poverty-continues/

So why now and why carers in particular? “The pandemic cast a heavy light on the unpaid care sector and the isolating nature of being a carer in lockdown, with limited-to-no support, and little, or no, respite or assistance of any kind,” Thomas Franks’ Amy Till explains.

Feet Up Fridays meals ready for delivery

“With each campaign we deliver enough meals for the carer and their family to feed them each Friday for a month.

“We are hoping to run Feet Up Fridays every month, providing we can continue receiving the support and funding to allow this,” Amy continues.

For any more information on Feet up Fridays, or the work of Feeding Communities, you can find all information here: Home – Feeding Communities or click on the banner ad above to donate.