Five thousand people have taken part in Jewish Care’s biggest Great Jewish Bake Day, cooking up vital funding for buses which transport elderly clients to and from the charity’s facilities.
Thirty schools, nurseries, cubs and brownies groups were involved, the youngsters holding bake sales or visiting Jewish Care homes and centres to decorate and devour cupcakes with residents and members.
Supporters of the charity also held tea parties for friends and neighbours.
2015 Masterchef finalist Emma Spitzer judged a baking contest at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon.
“When asked if I could come and meet you all and eat cake, it wasn’t a difficult decision,” Ms Spitzer said. “This is an incredible place run by incredible people and I am honoured to be here.”
In Redbridge, the Messy Mischief group of mums and toddlers joined community centre members and local Jewish primary pupils to ice cakes and add sprinkles.
Shai, a 10-year-old Clore Tikva pupil, said: “The best part is to be with the older people — and I like the icing and eating too!”
Centre member Ida Sharp, 94, said she was lucky to have a wonderful family who visited her at home. “But I rely on the Jewish Care bus to get out the house so I can see people and enjoy activities at the community centre two days a week. It’s given me a new lease of life.”
Asher Hayes, 14, was among JFS pupils who took part in a session with cake specialist Rachel Rachel at the Sobell day centre on the charity’s Golders Green campus.
“My friends and I decorated some cakes with two men called Joseph and Benny, both from Iran,” Asher explained.
“It was inspiring for us to meet close friends who shared a lot in life and to talk and bond with them. Bake day was a fun experience and really uplifting, I would definitely like to do it again.”
Icing cakes on bake day was an extension of Joy, the Joining Old and Young programme, which sees children from Nagila Nursery get together each week with the older members of the Edgware and Harrow Community Centre.
“The children are lovely,” said centre member Judy Benton. “They make me feel useful. Some of them don’t have grandparents of their own or they don’t see them, so I like being a grandma for them. It always lifts my spirits.”
Around £8,000 has been raised.