Sweet idea to help support homeless

COOKING UP A TREAT: Lauren Jenkinson of Garstang Road, Claughton on Brock with her award winning cakes. PICTURES: David Hurst
COOKING UP A TREAT: Lauren Jenkinson of Garstang Road, Claughton on Brock with her award winning cakes. PICTURES: David Hurst
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An award-winning baker is looking to use her skills in the kitchen to transform the lives of people facing homelessness.

Lauren Jenkinson, who works for Lathams of Broughton, plans to teach baking and cookery to homeless and marginalised people.

The 23-year-old, who is a finalist in the National Cupcake Competition, is now asking for donations of kitchen equipment, baking tins and ingredients to help get the workshops off the ground.

“I decided to approach the Mustard Tree Foundation in Manchester about setting up a baking workshop with homeless people they care for,” said Lauren, who lives in Catterall, near Garstang.

“They are an organisation that helps people who are homeless, sofa surfers, or those struggling financially to feed their family and keep their homes.

“They just have a really good ethos, so I just wanted to help them and get involved.”

Lauren now plans to set up a baking workshop with the foundation, and said: “Once every other week or so I will go there and teach them the baking skills they might not already have, so they can learn and have those initial skills for when they get back on their feet.

“Now we are appealing for everything kitchen related - old kitchen equipment, baking trays, spoons, electric mixers.

“We hope to get it up and running within the next month if we get enough equipment.

“I’m really excited about it. I want to see people really fall for baking and love it.”Lauren entered the National Cupcake Competition last year as a home baker and won the category, and has now entered again as a professional, with a dairy-free brandy passion truffle cake.

The final is in Birmingham in November, and she hopes to set up the workshops after that.

Jessica Stewart, operations manager for Mustard Tree, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic for us.

“I think cooking from scratch is such a key life skill and once you can do that you can make better use of your food budget, and cook more healthily.

“We are really looking forward to it starting.”
The charity works to help people who are homeless and marginalised, and offers training, mentoring and volunteering.

Jessica said: “It’s a sense of achievement.

“Each time they have created a cake or a loaf of bread it’s a real boost to their self esteem and it really helps them.”-

To donate kitchen equipment, contact Lauren at laurenmustardtree@hotmail.com