A sacrifice and a half

FCFK - no cake august


At the beginning of August we got a notification on our Local Giving page telling us that somebody had started fundraising for us. What an awesome surprise, we thought and clicked on over to take a look.

Now there are some crazy cake people out there (us included!), but this was a stranger, a cake-loving-stranger to be precise, with absolutely zero connection to Free Cakes for Kids Hackney, who had decided to raise money for us by giving up cake for the whole of the month of August. Bonkers, right?

Did she cave? No she did not! For THIRTY ONE days not even a crumb of scone or lick of buttercream passed the lovely Lou‘s lips. What happened instead was that she raised ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY beautiful British pounds for us. Woot.

FCFK - no cake august after


<<< And behold her face when she got to eat her first cake after #nocakeaugust!  What a difference to the sad face above that could only look upon a whoopie pie.  Torture!

We’d say she was very restrained!  A piddly little cupcake after a whole month without cake?!  We’d have had 31 to make up for the missed days 😉

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lou.  You are definitely bonkers but we totally appreciate the support.  And we are in no way making light of the fact that most of the children we work with do not have cake in their lives, not even on their birthday, let alone any random day in August.  This little fundraising project only highlights how sad that is.  Imagine your life without cake.  No thanks.

Right, now let’s put that £150 towards making sure that more and more children in Hackney get cake in their lives.  We’re on a mission: join us.

Community with a capital C

We’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people in Hackney are great. Maybe that’s stating the obvious! Hackney is our home and we are huge fans. We totally appreciate that it isn’t perfect. Deprivation is never perfect and Hackney has more than its fair share, we know that and we only see the tip of the iceberg here at FCFK Hackney. We also know that there is a huge and growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. But at the centre of Hackney’s throbbing heart is a community to be proud of and we are very fortunate to have witnessed that, in spades.

Where do we start? Our whole entire service relies on the generosity of our community. Without community we would have no bakers who volunteer their time and resources to bake birthday cakes for children who they don’t know and are unlikely to ever meet. Without community we wouldn’t be able to have spectacular fundraisers (or even unspectacular ones) to raise the vital funds to keep us going. And without community we wouldn’t form partnerships with other Hackney organisations who believe in what we do and send referrals our way.

And then there’s the community spirit that drives local people and local groups or businesses to contact us out of the blue, and bring a massive smile to our day…

FCFK - Debora… like the woman who tweeted us to tell us that she’d made a donation to our Local Giving account on her own birthday because she couldn’t imagine celebrating without cake, and she wasn’t even a child.

… like Kehillah North London, a liberal synagogue in Stamford Hill, who decided to raise money for us as part of their Purim festival, which involved children dressing up, having fun and sharing sweet treats. Perfect.

… like the Clapton Hart who held an Easter raffle – with the grand prize of a scotch ostrich egg, or “scotchrich egg” if you will – all because they wanted to donate to our cause and support local families.

… and like our own baker/cookbook amass-er/kitchen lender/host extraordinaire, Debora, who donated her speaking fee from an event with the Stoke Newington WI to us because she’s awesome like that. And then went on to hold yet another cookbook stall for us down on Columbia Road. Debora for PM!

All of these people, groups and businesses gave to us, not because we asked them to, but because they wanted to do, because they’ve got big hearts that beat to the rhythm of their community and because they believe that by giving a little they can change a lot. We’d like to bag them for our team! All hail Hackney and long live community.

As the late, great Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters that will create many ripples.” We ain’t no Mother Theresa, oh no, but we can think of worse role models and we’re all capable of making ripples, however small.

Happy not-so-new year

We’ve been a bit slow off the mark this year but, still, we don’t think it’s too late to wish you a happy 2014. Fourteen days in, hey?! How’s it been so far? For us … not too shabby actually!

On Saturday we had our FCFK Hackney committee “away day,” which didn’t actually take place away and didn’t last a day, but we’re not going to nit-pick! Apart from stuffing our faces with amazing Ottolenghi-inspired hazelnut and white chocolate brownies (what January detox?!), we came up with some great plans for the coming year. We’ve already got a baking workshop taking place this week at Ann Tayler Children’s Centre, but we’ll be putting in some grant applications to hopefully get us the funding to enable us to do more, and we have some very exciting ideas for another cake decorating event and a monster fundraising extravaganza. We will reveal more as soon as we can but let’s just say that a cafe takeover may be on the cards. Eeee!

FCFK - wreath cakeWe cannot not mention how amazing our bakers were in those final crazy few days before Christmas…

While some of us were running around doing last minute shopping, wrapping and last minute last minuting, a few bakers stepped in to make some cakes for a children’s centre’s Christmas party, including this, frankly beautiful, wreath cake, as well as a cake for a child who had her birthday on Christmas Eve. It would have been so easy for that child to have been overlooked but, as you’ll see in our forthcoming Cake of the Month feature, that most certainly did not happen.

The referrals have been a bit thin on the ground so far this year but we have a strong army of bakers with wooden spoons at the ready just waiting to tackle any cake request thrown at us, so if you work with children or families and know of people who could benefit from our service then please do get in touch.  The more cake referrals the merrier, as they say.

We’ll leave you to get on with your second Tuesday of 2014 shortly, but firstly, three quick links:

One: Did you know that if you donate £10 to us through Local Giving then that tenner will be matched so we get £20 instead of just £10?  Pretty awesome, yes?  The pot of money is running out though so you only have until 28th February to double your donations to us if you’d like to.

Two: Remember we mentioned that we now have aprons that you can buy?  Well those aprons were expertly printed by the lovely guys at Print Club London and they’ve gone one step closer to ultimate loveliness and written about us on their website.  (Thanks again guys!)

And three: Can’t get enough of us?  We’ll soon be sending out our quarterly newsletter.  If you aren’t signed up to receive it then why the hell not?!  Sign up now … pleeease!

New year admin: done!  Over and out.  FCFK Hackney xxx