Watch: Charity bake-off proves to be a really sweet attraction

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Dozens of people took part in a raffle and the Great Brighouse Bake Off competition for charity at St Martin’s Church in Brighouse. Organiser Jodi Paige-Hirst shares her thoughts and reflects on the day’s events.

It was an amazing event that surpassed everyone’s expectations, including mine!

People, who had never stepped foot in our beautiful church, volunteered to help to pull off an event which had a little something for everyone to get stuck in and enjoy.

The reason the event was organised in only four weeks was to facilitate the 4Louis Raffle. This came about as a result of Siobhan Smith - another of Brighouse’s unsung Angels who runs a lovely playgroup at Rastrick Library - who got involved in the fundraising Suzanne Loraine started. It all began with a cupcake sale at Elaine Bradstocks’ playgroup at Hove Edge Bowling Club. Siobhan sent a message out on face book asking for tombola prizes and the response from the Brighouse community was overwhelming.

It included a £150 Bricks4Kidsparty – amazing but too big for twenty mums to do it justice. So we joined the two ideas - The Great Brighouse Bake-off and the4Louis raffle.

Tickets were sold over the next four weeks which raised awareness for a very worthy and touching cause which provides Sweet Dreams Memory Boxes to parents who have suffered stillbirth, neo-natal, infant and child loss - a charity which supported Kim and Chris Hepworth, Suzanne Lorraine’s younger brother, after the still birth of their beautiful baby girl Blossom Emily.

On the day of the event we had an alter tea room with pretty hand embroidered table clothes, beautiful cake stands and tea services which were kindly lent to us by Norah Smith of Rastrick.

The kitchen and tea room volunteers were a mix of the church congregation and friends, some of those who never go to church, but gave up their whole day working really hard to support Fiona Whittingstall serve beautifully presented afternoon tea with cakes and jams, all home-made and kindly donated.

The afternoon teas were fully booked by the time the last cake had entered the bake-off at 9.58am.

While enjoying the food, Caius Lee, an amazingly talented 16 year old from Low Moor who has over the past five months mentored the St Martin’s Little Trebles, played the piano while the children sang beautifully at the beginning of every afternoon tea sitting. The event also had huge support from many local businesses, , too many to name them all.

The cakes were judged by Simply Sweets, The Cake Maker and Love Bread.

Also three new businesses supported the event – LoppysLodge pet hotel and dog walker, 3J’sdesign, a unique hand-made children’s clothing, and Wax Witch Candles - all of which are new start-ups by three of Brighouse’s ‘yummy mummies’.

Like the three young people, complete strangers who turned up to enter several categories including entering a deconstructed Victoria sponge cake and offered their services up. They joined the ladies in the kitchen for several hours. The Church ladies were very grateful to receive your help!

We had a free craft corner which included bunting decorating supplied by Siobhan Smith who will turn all the bunting bits into children’s bunting to hang at other events.

Gingerbread men were decorated and there were lots of paper crafts - all cupcake style of course - donated by another lovely lady who for over 8 years volunteers her time and great craft ideas running the craft at Busy Bees playgroup at St Martin’s Church.

We had a popular teddy bear adoption service run by Anne and Derek Frearson, where pre-loved teddies came with an adoption certificate to their new homes. And guess how many sweeties in the jar, 199 guessed correctly by Father Paul who shared his loot with the children after the Sunday Service.

There were lots more games, lovingly made and designed by teacher in training Tiffany Newham, who also volunteered with lots of her family on the day too.

A total of £1,200 was raised for the4louis raffle in memory of Blossom Emily Hepworth.

The raffle will supply lots of memory boxes to many grieving parents, giving them some of the loving support they will need at such a difficult time in their lives.

The money raised for St Martins church, over £1,000, has already started to be put to good use as we were able to give a small donation to Ciaus Lee by way of recognition and to say thank-you for the hundreds of hours he has given up to voluntarily fill in as acting Music Director.

We have also updated all our first aid kits.