Where the hell have we been?!

We’re sorry, we know you’ve no doubt been checking our website on an almost daily basis wondering when the bloody hell we were going to get on and post something else. We haven’t just been sitting around watching daytime telly, we can assure you of that; we’ve been busy, as in mega, mega busy!

FCFK - 336 candlesIf you’re one of our likers on good ol’ Facebook, or if you follow us on twitter then you’ll have some idea of what we’ve been up to these past months, from fundraising to celebrating our bakers with a big party, not to mention keeping the good ship FCFK Hackney ticking over as we bake more cakes than ever (336 was our total at the end of February). We’ll be writing a bit more about all that soon, but, right now, we wanted to chat money!

A little while ago now we put in for a BBC Children in Need grant and completed a rather rigorous application process. We knew that the competition for the money would be immense so, whilst we had our fingers permanently crossed, we’d told ourselves not to be too disappointed if we didn’t get the funding. But guess what? We only went and got. the. funding! Yes, yes we did!

FCFK - Skipton fundingWhile this was going on, we also applied for a Skipton Building Society ‘Grassroots Giving’ grant. You may remember this because it was down to the public vote who got the money and we spent a considerable amount of time badgering you lovely lot to vote for us. Well, our badgering your voting paid off and we got the grant. Whoop! (Witness a happy TEAM FCFK Hackney in the photo on the right in receipt of our grant from Skipton.)

Meanwhile, some rather generous companies out there – the awesome Adams Catering Hire and Chegworth Valley Juices, we’re looking at you – decided that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas unless they gave us some cash. So they did. And we were, and still are, massively grateful. Unlike the grants, this ‘unattached’ money means that we can pay for some of the more mundane costs associated with the running of FCFK Hackney, like DBS checks and insurance, and it takes the pressure off us having to fundraise like crazy when we have other things on our plate, like…

FCFK - Long White Cloud bakers…family baking workshops. Yep, that’s what the applications for the Children in Need and Skipton grants were all about. We were so encouraged by the two baking workshops that we held previously – and the response we got from the children and their parents/carers who then went on to bake at home as a family using our equipment and basic recipe – that we really wanted to expand our service to offer more of the same. The grants will enable us to do just that and we’ve already done our training session (thanks to Long White Cloud on Hackney Road for hosting us and our rather large collection of blue mixing bowls) and have a whole series of baking workshops lined up, starting at the end of this month (eeek, better get our pinnies ironed!). We can’t wait to get started properly and are particularly excited to be involving some older young people (if that makes sense) from Think Forward to help deliver our workshops.

Ok, we reckon we’ve waffled on enough now, so we’ll leave you with some shots of the muffins and the microwave mug cakes, for families without ovens, that we’ve been trialing ahead of the workshops. And stay tuned because we’ve got a whole backlog of Cake of the Months to post and we’d love it if each baker gets their moment to shine.

FCFK - Long White Cloud muffinsFCFK - Long White Cloud microwave cakes

Do us a favour. Yes, another one. Pleeease!

Us lot, we’re always asking for favours, aren’t we?  If we don’t want you to bake something for us then we want you to come to some event we’ve organised, or to donate to us, or sponsor us.  We know.  We ask a LOT.  And here we are asking you for a favour once again, sorry, but it’s an easy one, we promise.

We’ve applied for some funding through Skipton Building Society’s Grassroots Giving programme to enable us to put on more of the awesome family baking workshops we ran at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.  We’ve been shortlisted – woo hoo!  But whether we get the money now depends on how many people vote for us.  Yep, this is where you come in…

Pretty please with a cherry on top could you:

1. Click this link: http://www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/whos-applying/london/free-cakes-for-kids-hackney/.

2. Scroll to the bottom.

3. Enter your email address.

4. Encourage as many of your friends; relatives; acquaintances; work colleagues; hell, even the person sitting next to you on the tube if you’re there long enough, to do the same.

It only takes a couple of seconds (unless you’ve got some ridiculously long email address), then your job is done.  Favour over.  You can carry on watching telly, picking your nose, for all we care, but you will be safe in the knowledge that you’ve taken us one click closer to getting some really valuable funding.

What are you waiting for?  Click and vote, people, click and vote!

And if you need any further encouragement as to why you should click and vote, here are some beautiful pictures and comments from the workshops we’ve already held.  If these aren’t worth you entering your email address then we don’t know what is.

“I love cooking but don’t have the equipment so thank you for giving me all the things I need to bake with my children at home.”

“Doing the workshop helped me interact with my children more. I would usually go home and let them watch television but the workshop gave us time together.”

“I’d never baked with my children before the workshop but we’ve already used the kit to make the muffins again. It’s a new family activity for us.”