|Jenny’s cake story
Jenny had always baked, with her grandfather and mother when she was a child, and later with her own children. Her health condition affected her eyesight and mobility so she struggled to see ingredients and to stand for extended periods. Jenny just wanted to bake again, it was in her blood, part of her core being. Jenny was a fantastically talented baker who had a wealth of experience and an extended cook book. She told our Connector of how her mum had discouraged her from working in a bakery when she left school because of her condition. Connector knew that at the same setting they had at least four others who wanted to connect to baking but she had no new volunteers to support their individual wishes. So, it seemed obvious that they should try to create a bigger baking Circle and Connector asked Jenny if she would consider contributing her skills to support this Circle. Jenny was ecstatic and excitedly accepted. She contributed regularly to this monthly run Circle. In addition, each baking Circle session was led by those attending, all contributing ideas for the next. At one they decided to have an old versus new shortbread bake off inspired by one gent’s historical cook book showing a shortbread recipe from the early 1900s. Some ladies are diabetic so they always ensured they have a low or no sugar alternatives so they too could be part of the bigger group. So individual wishes and contributions are always considered and included, just how they should be!
In this scenario our community were the people living in extra care, they made some fantastic contributions and are always bringing new ideas and indeed recipes to the table for us to try next. They support each other as a group, helping out where needed.
In addition, they do have nursery school children join them periodically for no bake cake sessions, these add a messy but memorable dimension and always bring the room to life with energy and enthusiasm abundant.
This Circle was originally established by the Community Circles Connector but both residents and team members have now taken ownership of it. They have created a ‘spin off’ Circle which focusses just on cake decorating which was an element that people had really enjoyed from the original. This is facilitated on Sundays when people are looking for a sweet treat to accompany their weekend cuppa!
Sharon has written a poem about her time with Jenny which can be viewed here.
Sharon shares more about Jenny’s story in the short film below: