CARING Paula Lawes was so moved by the stories of families facing personal and financial struggles she decided to do something about it.
The 39-year-old from Fareham set about collecting donations of food before cooking them up into a wholesome meal and delivering them to families in need.
Her idea, The Homecooked Love project, proved an instant hit and now, six weeks later, she has more than 30 people signed up for her meals-on-wheels scheme.
She said: ‘I cook meals for lots of different people.
‘I have around six families at the moment who I cook for, but I also deliver to single people, mostly men, some elderly and even students.
‘Everyone has their own struggles and I’m just trying to help people who are struggling with financial and personal problems.’
Inspired by an advert on the website Gumtree by a woman offering to cook for others, and the plight of homeless people on the streets, Paula started the project to help those less fortunate than herself.
Paula, who also owns her own animal care business, now delivers fresh meals in the Fareham and Gosport area on Wednesday afternoons.
She said: ‘I’m not a bad cook but I’m no expert.
‘I make very basic comfort food like shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, the sorts of things your mum makes.’
She makes the meals from ingredients donated by the public which she collects on Mondays and cooks the meals in Knowle Community Hall in Knowle, Fareham.
A drop-off point in the form of a wheelie bin has been set up outside Paula’s house in Frosthole Crescent in Fareham so supporters can donate anonymously.
She has also set up an online fundraising page to help maintain the project and to fund the delivery costs.
Paula said: ‘I feel that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m happy and content, and I want to help people who are facing their own struggles, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve all been there.’
Although the project currently has some volunteers to collect donations and deliver meals it needs more to make it a long-term success.
For more information like ‘Homecooked Love’ on Facebook or visit gogetfunding.com/project/homecooked-love to donate.
Paula said: ‘This isn’t just about helping people who are struggling financially, but also about helping those who are depressed, or feeling lonely or anything really, I just want to help.
‘I’m looking for volunteers to help with delivering the food, but this isn’t just about driving a car, it’s about being passionate, having a big heart and wanting to help people.’