“I’m just a small part of a really amazing team. One lady in our group has baked 800 buns this week and we’ve got businesses donating big bags of flour, sugar and eggs and people volunteering to deliver the cakes too.”

An East Coast College lecturer has joined a team of 20 bakers who are making sweet treats to send out to key workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Kathy Abel is a part-time childcare lecturer at the college’s Great Yarmouth campus, and for the past three weeks has been making hundreds of cupcakes as part of the Baking-A-Difference group.

Started by Bradwell-based Michaela Davies and her friend Jill Stafford who lives in Lowestoft, the group has grown with volunteers baking, decorating and delivering cupcakes everyday to people making a difference in the community.

Jill Stafford, Michaela Davies and Kathy Abel from the Baking-A-Difference group collecting ingredients. Photo East Coast College

Michaela said: “It all started with a batch of 48 cupcakes which I made and my son delivered to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. He took some photos which I posted on a couple of Facebook groups and I started getting asked by lots of people if I could make some for them for a donation. So I set up our own Facebook page and it’s been busy ever since!”

The Baking-A-Difference team have made around 6,000 cupcakes in the last three weeks with ingredient donations and sponsorship coming in from a range of local businesses as well as through a GoFundMe page.

Michaela said: “Three weeks ago we didn’t really know what key workers were so it has been a great way to raise their profile and say thank you.”

Kathy, who is still teaching students during term time though video calls, has been getting up at 4am each morning to get the cupcakes baked. She is making around 300 cakes each week.

Some of the cupcakes which have been sent out. Photo courtesy of Baking-A-Difference

She said: “I love to bake and I often take my quiches and carrot cakes into the staff room for people to try. I saw Michaela’s post on Facebook and decided to send her a message to say that I would be happy to help, but that I’m not very artistic with decoration. She replied and said I could join as a naked baker, which means I bake the sponges and send them to a lady called Lucy Tuddenham to decorate.

“I used to work at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital as an auxiliary nurse so I really wanted to do something to help through all of this. So when I read about Baking-A-Difference it all fell into place.

“I’m just a small part of a really amazing team. One lady in our group has baked 800 buns this week and we’ve got businesses donating big bags of flour, sugar and eggs and people volunteering to deliver the cakes too. We are relying on the goodwill of the community to help us and they really have come up trumps!”

The cupcakes have been delivered from North Walsham to Halesworth, with hospital and care home staff, police and shopkeepers all benefiting. People are invited to make a nomination for who should receive the cakes on the Baking-A-Difference Facebook page, with a small donation requested to help towards ingredient costs.

As well as supporting Kathy’s efforts, East Coast College has also donated a large amount of ingredients currently sitting unused in their kitchens including flour and sugar to help with future bakes. All bakers use the same ingredients and recipe and each cake is topped with a special icing message.

Anyone who would like to volunteer or make a nomination can request to join the Baking-A-Difference Facebook page. To make a donation towards ingredients, cake cases and boxes, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/m5jwvz-bakingadifference

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