When you think of visiting a hospital, the last thing you imagine is the smell of freshly baked cakes wafting down the wards.
But yesterday, Sheffield Children’s Hospital was full of cake creations and fundraising activities, all in the name of the ‘Bake it Better Day’ fundraising drive.
Staff and patients were joined by Howard Middleton, a much-loved contestant on the fourth series of the Great British Bake Off, who judged a cake competition from a huge selection of treats.
He gave staff nurse Ellie Ruta, aged 22, the star baker title for her chocolate and avocado cake.
Howard made a blueberry and lemon ‘showstopper’ cake which came in the form of a yellow and blue bear – a deadringer for the hospital’s furry mascot, Theo.
Howard said: “I wanted to help as much as I could. This is a wonderful hospital and events like this really give a feel of community spirit.”
The Children’s Hospital Charity launched its Make it Better appeal in 2012 with the aim of raising £10m to extend and transform the existing hospital.
Donations from yesterday’s Bake it Better Day will help fund a brand new building, which is under construction, and much-needed outdoor space.
Claire Reeve, a senior staff nurse said: “Without the charity and the volunteers, life would be a lot harder. It’s funded the TVs, it’s funded parts of the new build so we’d be a lot worse off without the charity.
Mum Moria Barnes, whose son Billy, aged seven, has been in the hospital for 10 days with chronic stomach pain.
She said: “The staff here have been brilliant, the nurses have been so lovely with Billy. It has made us smile. And any fundraising that can be done will really help the hospital.
“We’ve got four kids so we are in and out of here a lot and we are so lucky to have it.”
As well as the bake sale staff also took part in other fundraisers including a treasure hunt, a ‘name the bear’ contest and dressed as princesses and pirates.
This year’s Bake it Better day has already made more than £5,000 through donations and, as around 200 people signed up to hold their own bake sales and coffee mornings, this figure is set to rise.