We are great lovers of cake at Cotton and Pearl Towers. We love eating it, admiring it and of course, making it! Given this, it is no great surprise that I've managed to get involved in a charity baking cakes!

I found out about Free Cakes For Kids (FCFK) from a Stylist Magazine (www.stylist.co.uk) article on the benefits of volunteering about 18 months ago. The article focused on things that you can do to help others even when you are time poor. My mum has always taught us the value of helping others, but since going back to work after having my kids, I found it difficult to be involved in charity or volunteering in any formal way. So I read the article with great interest. That was where I found out about FCFK. A charity run across the country by local volunteers that bakes (predominantly) birthday cakes for children from families who might not otherwise be able to afford one. I signed up straight away!

In the Enfield branch we now have 28 volunteer bakers, have made more than 100 cakes, and we are starting to bake for families in Barnet too. Families are referred to us by social services, the local food bank, child welfare groups and charities and many other sources. When we receive a referral the message goes round with details of what sort of cake is required, when it is needed and usually an idea of the design or theme the child loves. There is no pressure to bake, you simply sign up for cakes according up your capacity. And as it is a homemade cake, there is no expectation that it will be of a professional standard (which believe me, is a good thing when I am baking)!

We have made quite a few princess cakes since signing up, as wells as minecraft, cars and chocolate lover's cake. I generally chose cakes that I think will draw the interest of my children (and that aren't too technically challenging) and we make the cakes together. I love that FCFK gives me a chance to teach my children about helping others in a way that is really meaningful for them. And it has definitely improved my cake confidence!

FCFK has branches right across the UK.

If you want to get involved visit www.freecakesforkids.org.uk.

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