Looking Back at 25: CRY’s Great Cake Bake

CRY’s annual Raising Awareness Week has always been an essential part of our year. It’s a time for us to place even more emphasis on raising awareness of young sudden cardiac death and how CRY is working to save lives using any means we can – from social media messages, to various campaigns, to a mixture of events.

One of the main elements of Raising Awareness Week is CRY’s Parliamentary Reception. Unfortunately it was unable to go ahead in 2019 due to the general election and the date of the event falling in purdah, but for the previous 17 years the Parliamentary Reception has given us a valuable platform to appeal to MPs. We have consistently had a wide range of support at this event, from CRY families and members of CRY’s myheart network, to our Patrons, Ambassadors, and Research Fellows. With different members of the CRY team giving presentations on the evening – such as Patrons sharing their connection to the charity, and CRY Consultant Cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma discussing the value of our research programme – we have a valuable opportunity to rally the support of MPs. The number of MPs in attendance has been consistently high, with 29 attending at our last event in 2018.

The other staple event of our Raising Awareness Week is the CRY Great Cake Bake. It started in 2012 as a fun, simple way for our supporters to get involved. It’s a chance for everyone to enjoy baking cakes with their family, friends and local communities, and raise some funds and awareness for CRY in the process.

The Cake Bake immediately caught the attention of our supporters when it started in 2012. Over 150 people requested one of our Cake Bake packs full of tips for the event and information about CRY, and the first event raised just under £20,000!

The event has continued to grow in the years since, becoming a popular fundraising and awareness activity every November. Whether our supporters sell their fantastic bakes in their local communities, hold a cake sale at their workplace, bring in cakes to sell at school, or others simply enjoy baking at home for friends and family, it’s always brilliant to see so many people getting creative and doing what they can to raise funds and awareness.

We’ve had some help from celebrities along the way as well. Our annual recipe booklet has included recipes from the likes of Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Ainsley Harriot, Delia Smith, Nadiya Hussain, Tom Kerridge, and many more.

<em>Mims Davies MP at Graham and Anne Hunters event in 2017<em>

In addition to some of the amazing cake designs we see every year, we always hear about the different ways our supporters spread word of their event and CRY. Just a few memorable examples include Mims Davies MP attending Graham and Anne Hunter’s event in memory of their daughter, Claire Reed, in 2017, which led to interviews on ITV Meridian and BBC Radio Solent; Harry Steel’s 2017 cake bake at his school, Churchill Community College, which was held in memory of David White and was featured on TV on ITN News; and Amanda and Adrian Topp’s 2018 event in memory of their niece, Bethany Mycroft, which was featured on two local radio stations.

We introduced a few new touches to the CRY Great Cake Bake in 2019, as our event packs were full with new resources such as games, competition sheets, and materials for decorating cakes. It was a great success with over 100 people signing up for packs, and our supporters raised a new record total of over £38,000, taking the total past £212,000 since 2012!

Like our other fundraising events this year, the next Great Cake Bake will be a bit different than normal. It’s taking place on November 20th, and will use a new digital pack including invitations, games, decorations, and our new Celebrity Recipe Booklet. You’ll still have everything you need, no matter where you are. This year may not be the same, but we’d like to encourage everyone to take part in whatever capacity they can.

The 2020 Great Cake Bake page on the CRY website will be regularly updated with new resources and fundraising tips. To find out more and register to join in, please click here.