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Worthing couple take part in cooking challenge supported by celebrity chefs to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy

Married couple, Katie and Sam Bailey from Worthing, West Sussex, have been donning their aprons to cook up a feast of meatballs this November in aid of charity, and have so far raised over £200. They are calling on the local community to dig deep and help add to that total.

Muscle Help

Sam, who lives with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), and his wife Katie, have been supporting the work of a charity very close to their hearts, The Muscle Help Foundation, which makes dreams come true for children and young adults living with MD. Sam is a beneficiary of the charity’s work and wanted to get involved to show his thanks and encourage others to support the charity’s work. Back in 2012 avid nature lover Sam had his dream of meeting Ray Mears come true thanks to the Muscle Help Foundation.

The charity has been running a mouth-watering culinary fundraising campaign during November called Meatball Month and has been (and still is) encouraging the nation to come together, to eat meatballs (meat, veggie or plant-based), to help raise money to support the charity’s vital work in delivering transformational wish-fulfilment experiences to children and young people living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD). Over the past 20 years, the charity has made hundreds of dreams a reality for its beneficiaries. This has included everything from arranging for them to meet movie stars and sporting heroes like Al Pacino and Lewis Hamilton, through to organising amazing experiences like racing around Silverstone in Porsche 9-11s or experiencing level flight in an aircraft. The charity’s mission is simple – to provide unique, personalised experiences that turn dreams into reality for children and young people living with MD.

Sam said: “We invited lots of friends and family over for our meatball party and they all kindly made a donation, in return for being fed well! This charity is really special to me and Katie. Not only have I had my dream come true thanks to their work, but so too have many other youngsters living with MD. The reality of our lives and the cards we’ve been dealt aren’t the best by any means, but it’s the charity-organised events from the Muscle Help Foundation that give us hope, friendship and memories to last a lifetime.

“I am very fortunate enough to have recently been granted another experience from the charity which saw my wife Katie and I wheel on board a Wetwheels accessible powerboat at Mercury Harbour (Hamble), experiencing the Solent and the beautiful Beaulieu River.

“If anyone wants to support the charity by organising their own meatball party there is still time to get involved – even if it ends up being in December that doesn’t matter. Or people can simply make a donation directly to the charity if they prefer. Whatever support people can give will be going to make dreams come true for youngsters living with MD. I speak from experience when I say that the impact the charity makes is amazing.”

Comedian, presenter and writer, and lover of great food, Harry Hill, who also presents Junior Bake Off, has been spearheading the campaign and recently released a video asking the nation to ‘don their aprons’ support the charity’s work:

The Meatball Month campaign has got the backing of an amazing array of notable chefs and celebrities, many of whom have shared their very own meatball recipes representing a range of culinary tastes and preferences to help inspire people right across the nation. These include Tom Kerridge, Angela Hartnett, Tom Parker-Bowles, Ken Hom, Ravneet Gill and Lawrence Dallaglio.

The charity’s CEO, Michael McGrath MBE, who also lives with MD says: “This fundraising campaign is designed to engage the nation’s appetite and love of food and encourages anyone across the UK this November to simply cook up some meatballs at home with their friends and family (be they meat, veggie or vegan) and in the process, ask everyone attending for a small donation for being fed well and enjoying great company. This will help raise money for the charity’s wish fulfilment experiences where we literally do make dreams a reality for our MD community – we call these experiences Muscle Dreams.

“But why Meatballs I hear you ask? In all honesty, it could be any meal you like – it comes down to bringing people together to cook and eat, whilst raising money for our wonderful charity. Let’s face it, meatballs are quick and easy to make too whether they are meat, veggie or vegan versions, and are the perfect autumn comfort food, so we felt this was a great way to give the campaign an identity and give people a single- minded cooking focus to put their efforts into. The ingredients for the campaign are simple. Come together. Eat. Donate. Help us make more dreams a reality for young people living with MD.”

Harry Hill says: “I can’t think of a better way to raise money for a wonderful charity. Cooking meatballs, inviting friends and family over and then eating them  – that’s the meatballs – not the friends and family! The only catch is they make a donation to help The Muscle Help Foundation improve the lives of people living with Muscular Dystrophy. Unless I’m missing something, it’s a win-win-win! I’m already preparing my meatball menu and it’s going to be delicious!”

Michael adds: “With the country’s obsession with food programmes such as Bake Off and MasterChef seemingly never ending, and a growth reported in the popularity of shared food experiences, now is the perfect time to build momentum for November’s Meatball Month. The UK’s cost of living crisis has also led to more people dining out less frequently and by default, entertaining at home more often so this campaign hopefully ticks lots of boxes. We also know how competitive people can get in the kitchen, so whether you’re a professional chef or an amateur, the challenge is on to wow your guests with a meatball feast this November all in aid of charity.”

Here’s what some of the chefs supporting the campaign had to say:

 “Meatballs for Muscle Dreams is a great cause helping fundraise for Muscle Dreams. Get cooking, get all your family involved and help raise a little money whilst you do it!”

Tom Kerridge, Michelin-starred TV Chef, Owner, The Hand & Flowers

“I am delighted to support (The Muscle Help Foundation) with this delectable recipe! I hope that it will help bring awareness to this horrible disease and support all the brave people who suffer from it“.

Ken Hom – BBC TV presenter & chef

“Being half Italian, meatballs were a firm family favourite in our household, so I hope you enjoy my recipe. I love the idea of Meatballs for Muscle Dreams which happens in Meatball Month of November! It’s a fantastic way to not only help raise money for a worthy cause but also if together we can ignite the nation’s appetite, then more children and young people with muscular dystrophy will get their Muscle Dreams fulfilled by the Muscle Help Foundation charity! It’s a win-win! I hope the country and my fellow rugby community will get behind this and support it and don’t forget, check out my meatballs recipe! Buon appetito!” 

Lawrence Dallaglio OBE – Rugby World Cup winner, TV Rugby commentator

“I’m delighted to be lending my support to Meatball Month by raising funds for the Muscle Help Foundation, an organization that orchestrates delightful and enjoyable days for young people battling muscular dystrophy.”

Ravneet Gill – Chef

I’m beyond excited and proud to be part of Meatballs for Muscle Dreams in support of the Muscle Help Foundation Charity. It’s an important cause to me and being able to cook meatballs and raise awareness and funds at the same time is a win-win.”

 Max La Manna – an award-winning author, low-waste chef, campaigner and digital creator.

“Meatball Month this November is a really fun way to raise money for The Muscle Help Foundation. All you need to do is invite people over, cook a meatball dish for them (it can be meat, veggie or vegan), and ask for a donation. The funds raised will help the charity to continue to deliver personalised experiences for children and young people living with Muscular Dystrophy.”

To find out more about the campaign visit to register your interest and be inspired by all of the amazing celebrity chef recipes. #meatballmonth

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