As part of a national movement, Free Cakes for Kids, a local cake baker is using her skills and creative talents to bring joy to children and families in these challenging times.
Talented baker, Nicky, creates cakes for children (16 and under) who have been referred to her by organisations supporting families in need. With customised designs to suit each child’s interests and passions, Nicky gives kids and their families the chance to celebrate a special occasion with a delicious, beautifully decorated cake – and it doesn’t cost them a penny.
To ensure her cakes reach those who need her help, Nicky operates a ‘referral only’ system and is appealing for more organisations to get in touch with her. If your organisation wants to help bring smiles to kids’ faces when they need a lift, do contact Nicky via her Facebook page: Free Cakes for Kids Ipswich or email her at freecakesforkidsipswich.gmail.com
Organisations from all local areas can be part of this. Nicky doesn’t just bake cakes for children in Ipswich, she also has referrals for families in other local areas.
We spoke to Nicky about her part in the movement, Free Cakes for Kids. She said:
“It was when I was baking my daughter’s 2nd birthday cake in November 2020 that I had a moment of nostalgia, thinking about some of the cakes my wonderful mum made for me as a child. For many people like me, they make your day special and stay in your memory forever.
“However, my happy reminiscing soon turned to sadness with the thought that many children, especially with the hard times faced by many in the wake of Covid, would not receive a birthday cake if parents were really struggling just to put food on the table. So, it was off the back of this sad thought that I decided to try and do something to help change this. Although not life-changing, I just felt every child should have a special cake on their birthday and maybe I could help with that.
“After some searching on the internet, I found a movement called Free Cake For Kids – https://www.freecakesforkids.org.uk – where lots of people around the country were already baking cakes for struggling families in their communities. There was no one currently baking in my area (according to the location map on the Free Cakes for Kids website) so I decided to join the movement and set up Free Cakes for Kids Ipswich myself.
“I took some food hygiene courses, registered my kitchen and set about trying to promote what I was doing. I have a passion for baking cakes and have always enjoyed cooking, but when it came to celebration cakes, I was pretty much a complete novice as of early December. I am actually a teacher currently on maternity leave with my second daughter, who’s just turned one, and I fit this in around their naps and mostly when they’ve gone to sleep at night.
“When I first started, I thought I’d be making quite basic cakes, seeing as they were free, and then my third cake request was for a horse head! So I’ve used YouTube a lot to learn new skills. Most of the cakes are far from perfect but I don’t think the kids mind. To be honest, I have put in a lot of hours of my free time and own money trying to fulfil the requests as I want to try and give the kids their dream cake that they’ll remember for a long time.”
Nicky is incredibly grateful to those who have helped her with donations and support – and passes her sincere thanks to them.
“I have been extremely lucky to get lots of donations of non-perishables from people in my local community and also supermarkets via Ipswich Family Bank who have been a huge support in my venture, I can’t thank them enough.” Says Nicky. “About a month or two ago I was contacted by Marie at Blue Barn Bakes, who does this professionally, and she offered her help. Marie is a lovely lady who has helped answer my cake-making questions and has also done some edible printing for me for a couple of cakes.”
Whether you’re an organisation that can help with referrals or someone who could offer donations and support, Nicky would love to hear from you.
Nicky says: “I’d love more organisations that support families to know about what I do and contact me when I can be of service. If you’d like further information, please do email me or send me a message via my Free Cakes for Kids Ipswich Facebook page.”