Welcome again to another lil old baking blog from the kitchen of SED Developments HQ. Did you spot the not-very-well-hidden pun? In all seriousness though, as the season for goodwill is coming upon us, I thought it was time to share some baking goodness out there.
In a bid to raise your joy level at this stressful time of year, let me introduce you to some charity organisations, who are taking the baking back in hand. Oooh – and some ideas and tips on baking for charity.
Good Bitches Do Bake
We start with Nic Murray & Marie Fitzpatrick of Good Bitches Baking . Set up to make bakes for people having a tough time they make life, a little bit nicer for the vulnerable, the ill, the homeless and countless others. Based in New Zealand, the overriding mantra is ‘making the world a little less shitty for people having a tough time’. It’s hard not get behind that eh?
Good Bitches Baking began when Nic’s small nephew was battling cancer. She was having her worst day at work. Coming back from having a good old cry in the toilet, she found a warm cheese scone on her desk. To this day, she doesn’t know who put it there. But someone had seen how distressed she was and did something small to help.
So they decided to put some kindness out there in the world, themselves. That was five years ago. Good Bitches Baking has grown from a band of fifteen, to over 2100 volunteers, organised into ‘Chapters’ around New Zealand. They reckon, but they can’t be sure, that they’ve had over 700,000 moments of kindness in that time. If you’d like to read more, then check them out here. Time to bring them to the UK methinks.
Baking for Kindness in the UK
In the UK, one charity is creating a special ‘kindness’ and amazing moments for children. These children might not otherwise, get a cake for their birthday. Can you imagine being seven, or six or five and not having a birthday cake? It happens.
Enter Free Cakes for Kids. The ethos of this community is simple. They bake for families, who find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for their child because every child deserves a birthday cake. There’s no overriding admin structure, it’s 100% volunteers.
The founder of Free Cakes for Kids, Henriette Lundgren, saw an article in the USA’s People magazine, about a lady in Trenton, Georgia doing something similar. So, in 2008, she began posting announcements in children’s centres, community halls and the local foodbank.
Six months later the first cake changed hands in Oxford. Volunteers make the cakes and hand them over to the family or the partner association of the child in question. A little Checkpoint Charlie like, these handovers take place in a public space – bus stops, supermarkets and so on. The baker never meets the child they’ve baked for. An average cake costs £8 to make and the baker bears the cost.
Free Cakes for Kids is a community led organisation. Each group has a co-ordinator, distributing the cake requests to bakers, who hand the cake over at the end. It’s an amazing concept that’s making a real difference – a birthday is such a special day. There’s a Free Cakes for Kids group in Swindon which you can find on Facebook here.
You can bake too….
Another way to bake with kindness, is to bake for charity. It seems now that every charity raises much needed money, via a tea party, coffee morning or bake-a-thon. And we can contribute. It doesn’t have to be homemade. You’re allowed to buy it!
What if you want to bake but don’t have an outlet for all those lovely cakes and biscuits? Well, Baking for Charity has the answer. You love to bake – that charity needs your cake to raise funds. Baking for Charity puts you in touch with the charities. From their website, you can find out where they need the next bake. They’ve even put together a great guide on the type of baking/cakes needed, together with ideas on how to run a charity baking stall.
Finally, I can’t leave you without a few recipes – always, my friends! So here’s an article with the top 20 bakes for a cake/sweet/cookie charity stall. Actually, here are 20 recipes so you don’t have to go hunting ever again. Or you can always try out our own recipe (which we nicked from Nigella Lawson!!)
Over the many articles on this website, I’ve often extolled the benefit of baking for mental health. Adding the element of baking for charity, or as with the Good Bitches, kindness, increases your well being. And, in my case, makes sure the cakes go out of the house and not into me!