Businesses, community groups and schools across the Swindon area answered the call from Macmillan Cancer Support on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 September, hosting their own coffee mornings in aid of the charity.
Clients at the Shaw Chiropractic clinic, Purton villagers at The Pear Tree, parents and pupils at Haydonleigh Primary School and employees and management at nPower all got involved with the national charity fundraiser, as well as many other groups around Swindon.
So far, Macmillan are claiming to have raised over £730,000 (Monday 3 October) from their ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ initiative where people all over the UK were asked to host their own Coffee Mornings and donations on the day are made to Macmillan. Last year alone the charity raised £25 million and this year aim to raise even more.
Employees based at npower’s Swindon site battled it out for the title of star baker – as selected by Martha Collison, the youngest ever contestant on BBC’s The Great British Bake Off and quarter finalist of the 2014 show. npower enlisted the help of Martha to inspire the nation to hold their own Coffee Mornings by cooking up an exclusive chocolate and lime hat cake for Macmillan – and the challenge was also set for employees at each site to dust off their aprons and bake their own ‘bobble hat’ cakes, raising funds to help people living with cancer keep warm without the worry.
Star baker, Sian Betts created a chocolate ‘Where’s Wally’ bobble hat themed sponge cake, decorated in the distinctive red and white Wally colours, topped with a handmade mould of Wally, sat up against the winning creation. Her inspiration came from her love of baking for her two children, so she decided to pick a children’s themed cake as her speciality.
Sian said: “I’m always baking for my children, so what better way to celebrate Coffee Morning with a well-known children’s character who wears a bobble hat! I’ve become more and more adventurous with my baking as the kids have become older and they love my chocolate cake recipe. I’m absolutely delighted to have won the competition – my little girls will be thrilled to hear the news. It was also great to have Martha come and taste all of our creations.”
Sian added: “Macmillan is an amazing charity and this is my way of giving something back and support their fundraising.”
Beth Gardner, Head of Community at npower, said, “Our employees really rose to the occasion, showcasing their baking skill in our cake competition. We’ve seen and tasted a whole range of cakes and bakes – and not a soggy bottom in sight! We’re proud to work with Martha to deliver such a fantastic event. We hope Martha’s exclusive cake recipe inspires people to hold their very own Coffee Mornings and raise vital funds for Macmillan to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.”