A charity Bake Off for a great cause

On 4th March, the HSPG team invited partner businesses to take part in a charity Bake Off to raise some much needed funds for GROW.  

Based in Barnet, Grow works with schools and communities delivering bespoke programmes in sustainable food growing and outdoor learning. Every year, they help over 200 disadvantaged children and young people to participate in their outdoors programme. Alongside providing recipients with over 80 free school meals. This summer Grow hopes to provide up to 50 seasonal veg boxes for the local community to buy on a subsidised sliding scale. Grow operates solely on donations, with the annual cost to run the charity at over £400,000. Every donation helps to support children and young people who experience financial, personal or social barriers to learning, healthy living and employment.  

Venturing into London, all our teams met at The Big London Bake, Tooting. It was only on arrival that the baking challenge was unveiled. Our teams were presented with basic instructions on how to bake a Dobos Torte, this was no simple Victoria Sponge, the judges wanted to see minimum of 7 layers. Challenge accepted! 

After being greeted by the Big Bake team, Lucy from Grow let us know what an impact all the money we would be raising will have for the charity. Then as each team selected our baking stations the competition was already starting to show. Armed with our aprons and chef’s hats, we set off on this three hour challenge with the star baker accolade in our sights. 

Equipped with a really basic instructions list, we discovered the cake layers consisted of sponge, jam made from scratch, buttercream and syrup. We were choosing from the multitude of flavours available in creation corner, elderflower to lemon, bubble gum to vanilla, there were some unique and interesting taste combinations going on in the tent!  

With some tips from the expert bakers at The Big Bake, we mixed, whipped, baked and put together our creations, finally topping with optional chocolate ganache, sprinkles and decorations. All the teams channelled their inner Mary Berry to create their showstoppers and could take a deep breath to relax. While waiting for the judges to deliberate, we detoured to the pub next door to take part in a charity raffle. Generous doners helped by offering raffle prizes such as a Land Rover Experience, A signed Jamie Oliver cookbook and Pandora jewellery.  

The biggest surprise of the day was our celebrity guest judge reveal. The wonderfully talented Eastenders and Gavin & Stacey actor, Larry Lamb. After sampling every cake, which were all surprisingly tasty, apparently, Larry and the Big Bake judge crowned JMW Solicitors the victors and the day’s star bakers. Although we may have been a little bitter not to win, JMW’s cake was a masterpiece, modelled on a garden, complete with a veg patch, pool and Grow logo.  

A huge thank you to all participants listed below and everyone who donated to support Grow. The fundraising page is still live, any contributions would be very welcomed. You can donate here.

  • HSPG 
  • Newsteer Real Estate Advisers 
  • Work.Life
  • RIA Compliance Consultants  
  • Calfordseaden  
  • JMW Solicitors 
  • Sapience Communications 
  • One House 

The HSPG team are volunteering with Grow this summer and will get involved with their great programmes. If you’re interested in joining and helping Grow, feel free to reach out at office@hspg.co.uk. 

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