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Free Cakes for Kids

Pretty Witty Blog

Free Cakes for Kids

This week, I wanted to hand over the blog again to Guest Blogger and Pretty Witty Cakes super member Iona Wilson so she can tell you all about Free Cakes for Kids which is a wonderful movement. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved with this wonderful organisation. 

Over to Iona....

Hi everyone. My gosh I have been so busy recently with my passion. It’s called Free Cakes For Kids UK, have you heard about it?

No? Well let me explain how it works…

Free Cakes for Kids UK is a movement of local volunteers and community groups, who share a simple belief that:

Every child deserves a birthday cake.

It was founded in December 2008 by Henriette Lundgren in Oxford. Free Cakes for Kids UK has now grown to nearly 60 groups and many more volunteers across the country. Since then, we have been baking for hundreds of families who find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for their child.

Together we are using our skills as bakers, neighbours and good citizens to battle hardship, build relations, encourage volunteering and create memories that last longer than a day.

It is a totally free, friendly and confidential service. All our cakes are homemade by volunteers of all baking and cake making abilities, from total beginners to professional, but best of all they are delicious! We even try to feature the child’s name, age and favourite theme or style.

We do this because we love baking and are passionate about our communities.

I am proud to say I am the founder and coordinator for three of the community groups that are servicing Bedford, Peterborough and the whole of the west side of Cambridgeshire (CambsWest), and love every minute of it.

What difference do we make?

At first sight, the impact of a one-off birthday cake seems rather limited. What difference can a cake make? Couldn’t people simply buy their own cake at the local supermarket? Why give children even more “sweet stuff”? Shouldn’t they eat something healthy? And why not teach people to bake themselves?

These are good and simple questions, but the answers are more complicated. The families we work with find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for many different reasons. Some are in severe economic difficulties and could not afford the cost of a cake. Others may suffer from health issues and cannot bake themselves – even if they wanted. Also, the idea of “teaching” people how to bake, as well meant as it might be, is much more complicated than it sounds. Baking requires quite a bit of special equipment, but also time, experience and certain skills. Not everybody has the luxury to do this. 

Against this backdrop, a homemade birthday cake can make a huge difference. Unlike the super market cakes which aren't "special" or individual, a personalised cake made especially for a person, makes them feel special and appreciated – a memory that can last a lifetime. A gesture that can really help a child who is struggling for whatever reason. The families can invite their friends and neighbours for a birthday party and share the cake with them.

Volunteer bakers, families and referring organisations often work together closely and sometimes even form relationships that last longer than a day. By working together with a range of other individuals and organisations, Free Cakes for Kids volunteers have built strong ties and make a much broader difference in their communities. Uniting people like this does make a difference. 

You could say: Free Cakes for Kids is not about the cakes. Rather, it uses cakes to bring happiness, create memories and build relationships.

Free Cakes for Kids at Cake International in March 2017

Did you visit Cake International in March at the N.E.C in Birmingham? If you did then you might have seen a huge messy party table in the competition area. Well that was us!

Yes… Free Cakes For Kids UK! We have formed such a strong group now that we got together some of the volunteer bakers from all over the UK. Myself and fellow coordinators as well as all those involved wanted to create something people would never forget. We all worked on our chosen items independently, in our own homes. Then we descended on the back door of the hall in London for Cake International to set it all up. Many of us have never even met before, so we managed to take the Free Cakes For Kids network that one stage further and actually sat and chatted.

I will let you judge for yourself the success we had, but I think it was amazing! The judges too apparently, as we won a GOLD award and best in our category!

So would we do it again? Oh certainly, in fact we have already begun thinking of ideas for next March!

Come and join us?

If you are the kind of person who thinks they could help Free Cakes for Kids by getting involved, then why not pop on over to the main website to find out if there is a group near you. Or why not set up a group yourself (read the “Cookbook” (link is at the bottom of the page) and see how easy it is to set up a group)

Here is the website www.freecakesforkids.org.uk/

And, if you want to join my group if you live near me, here is the website for my groups: www.fcfkcambswest.co.uk

Hope to see some of you helping us brighten the lives of those less fortunate than us. 

 

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