Bakers put icing on the cake to celebrate birthdays of Swindon's homeless

By Swindon Link - 21 December 2018

Food & DrinkCommunityPolitics
  • Volunteer Jenny Yallop handing over two homemade cakes to Gareth Hacker for residents at The Foye

    Volunteer Jenny Yallop handing over two homemade cakes to Gareth Hacker for residents at The Foye

Volunteer bakers from across Swindon have been baking birthday cakes for homeless young people.

It is part of a joint initiative between Swindon Borough Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing team and the Foyer, a 57-bed hostel for young people aged 16 to 25 years old managed by Stonewater housing association based in Swindon.

The ‘Forget Me Not’ bakers began making cakes for isolated residents who wouldn’t normally have their birthday marked, but in recent months the project has expanded to include baking for young people who are homeless.

Co-ordinated by the Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Team, there are 66 volunteer bakers who collectively make almost 100 cakes per year. Since November, seven birthday cakes have been made and delivered to the Foyer.

Jenny Yallop, who has been a volunteer baker since last summer, recently made two cakes for the young people. She said: “I used to bake and now that I live on my own, it’s a good way to keep baking. I think it’s a very good idea.”

Gareth Hacker, a coach at the Foyer, offered his thanks to Jenny and the rest of the Forget Me Not Bakers. He said: “I’d just like to say thank you very much to all of the bakers. All of the residents are genuinely over the moon when they receive them.”

A few weeks ago, lots of hand-knitted hats and scarves were also donated to the Foyer by the local ‘Stitch and Bitch’ knitting group in collaboration with the Council’s Big Swindon Knit initiative. They were warmly received and have been placed under the Christmas tree as gifts. There are also plans to start a knitting and crocheting group for the young people.

If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Forget Me Not Baker or other volunteering opportunities with the Council, get in touch with the Live Well Hub at 01793 465513.

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