Phoebe's cake commemoration of G7 Speakers' Summit at Astley Hall
Sir Lindsay Hoyle says he was “bowled over” to learn that the G7 Speakers’ Summit he hosted in the borough last month had been captured in cake form by a young baker.
Twelve-year-old Phoebe Bishop says she was inspired to cook up a replica of conference venue Astley Hall - and some of the VIP guests standing outside it - as part of a school baking competition focusing on different languages and nationalities.
Phoebe, who attends Holy Cross Catholic High School, wanted to create a cake commemorating an event that “meant something to the UK” - and the occasion of her home town staging an international gathering was the obvious choice.
Enlisting the help of the Bishop family baker - her grandmother, Marie - Phoebe whisked together a sponge recreation of Chorley’s memorable moment in the spotlight, featuring Sir Lindsay himself and the highest-profile G7 delegate, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Prepared over three days, the cake might have been Phoebe’s idea - and the product of around eight hours of her effort - but she was under no illusions as to who was boss in the kitchen.
“My grandma thought of using different types of chocolate for different features on the cake. She'd say: ‘Do this for me, Phoebe’ - and then come back and check on me later.
“She bakes everyone’s birthday cakes and has done some incredible ones, but I didn't expect [the Astley cake] to look as good as this,” Phoebe said.
While her creation would not have looked out of place in the Bake Off tent, Phoebe has no plans to turn pro - at least not in the baking department.
“It’s just a hobby really - I play football a lot, so I'm really busy already.”
Phoebe’s friends at the Inspire Youth Zone in the borough were the lucky ones chosen to devour the G7-themed delicacy, which head of fundraising Karen Hunter said “tasted every bit as good as it looked”.
Phoebe has been a youth zone member since the town centre facility opened three years ago. Her mum credits the venue with helping Phoebe - who lives with Asperger's syndrome - build her confidence and engage in activities like the cake-baking competition.
“I am proud to say that Inspire Youth Zone has been a part of Phoebe's journey, encouraging her to be the most beautiful, amazing, talented, clever, loud and wonderful person that she is today,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chorley MP and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay, who is the youth zone’s charity ambassador and has met Phoebe on several occasions, said that her achievements are proof that “inspiring and investing in young people in our community works”.
“[The Youth Zone] is achieving incredible results through their commitment to young people and I’m delighted and committed to be part of their journey helping to create a safer, happier and healthier future for all of our town’s young people.”