Volunteer Jamie Deery with a cake for a Laois customer
A kind group that organises free birthday cakes for people who cannot afford them, is spreading to Laois, and requesting local baking enthusiasts to volunteer.
Consider It Cakes was started by Dublin couple Franciska Acs and Daragh Kiely last year to provide people in emergency accommodation, such as homeless shelters and direct provision centres with birthday treats.
Volunteer Jamie Deery from Athlone (pictured below with baked gifts) expanded it to Athlone and Offaly and now after local requests, she is setting up the service in Laois, with big interest already and cakes already being delivered here.
"Our first cake was made by Aileen McLeod from Portlaoise, a peppa pig themed cake. Gillian Purser from Stradbally is making the second cake next week and kindly circulated flyers. Olivia Fennelly from Ballyfin has also been very helpful," said Jamie.
So far she has 20 Laois volunteers interested but she welcomes more volunteers to cover the county.
"There is high demand here with 4 direct provision centres and also want to get involved with the food appeals.
"Since the project was set up last summer, over 500 cakes and other baked goods for various occasions have been delivered to people living in direct provision with over 300 people currently volunteering to bake and deliver cakes to centres across the country.
"As well as giving people a boost with a special delivery, organisers also hope it will let residents know there are people in the wider community who care for them - especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The reactions are priceless and since we started this initiative it has brought so much joy into our lives because we feel like we can really make a change," Jamie told the Leinster Express.
She explains how it all works.
"Anyone who is homeless, asylum-seeking or simply cannot afford a cake because of their current situation is eligible can request a cake (whatever the occasion) for a child, partner or friend. All flavours of cakes are available, and people can choose a theme/favourite toppings etc which they otherwise might not be able to afford.
"The order is then passed on to a volunteer - simply someone who likes to bake. That volunteer then sets aside some of their free time to make and deliver the cake. Children also get a little wrapped present for their birthday, such as a stuffed animal or a book.
"If they can drive they drop the cake themselves to the centre and arrange a drop off time with the resident. If the baker doesn’t drive, they let me know and someone else can deliver it. That’s why it’s nice to have a big group of volunteers so we can help one another out," she said.
"We also like to celebrate events with special “treat days”, for example, Christmas, World Mental Health Day, International Women’s Day and so on," Jamie said.
"We work with other organisations so in Limerick, Dealz have supplied lots of stuff, then Skelligs chocolate made a donation of 200kg of chocolate for bakers to use a few months back and then in Athlone, New Horizon helped us with supplies for an Eid event and Spectrum Signs makes free birthday banners for the birthdays. So while the baker gets their own ingredients and small gift, we also get help locally too for some events," she said.
To get involved with the new Laois Branch, visit Consider it Cakes on Instagram, Facebook or the website for contact details or contact Jamie directly on email@example.com.
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