A baker and mum-of-three from the Cotswolds has made almost 500 cakes for key workers in Gloucestershire since the first lockdown.
Kate Hunter, 50, has been making so many cakes for staff at Gloucestershire Police, Fire and Rescue, Cheltenham Hospital, and more, that she gave herself an allergy to flour.
Attached to each one was a letter thanking the key workers and telling them how much they were appreciated.
“I cry when I see them on the news. My mum, auntie and grandma were all in the Health Service so I know how hard they work,” said Kate, who lives in Upper Rissington, near Bourton-on-the-Water.
“When I’ve been in hospital it is a shocker how dedicated they are but how little often they are valued. I’m so glad the NHS is being valued for what it is.”
“Not just for the NHS, but all key workers who have gone out there and carried on and risked themselves – I couldn’t just sit by and watch it.”
Far from sitting by, Kate put all her spare time and energy into the project.
“About two days into the first lockdown we had watched two or three movies and I was itching to be productive and bake something,” said Kate, who lives with her partner Craig Tout.
Her daughter’s set up two Facebook pages asking people to nominate key workers and to donate for the cost of the ingredients.
With the £2400 raised in lockdowns 1 and 3, Kate has made 484 tasty treats for care homes, fire departments, hospitals, refuse collectors and prison officers – delivered by Craig, a local plumber, on his essential journeys.
“I was hell bent on baking; I must have grated 50 squillion lemons for lemon drizzle,” said Kate, who runs a baking business in the Cotswolds called Cakes by Desire.
“I just want them to be really tasty and a little bit of luxury, and to make people smile and give them some energy.”
Her efforts won her recognition on the One Show yesterday, when hosts Alex Jones and Ronan Keating surprised her with a thankyou video from all the people she’s supported – as well as well-wishes from comedian Jo Brand and judges from Celebrity Best Home Cook, Angela Harnett and Chris Bavin.
“I felt a bit embarrassed but very grateful, it was very lovely,” Kate said.
“I just want to be a conduit for other people to be able to do something, and to be able to do something myself to try and let people know that they are being thought about.”
Fortunately, Kate has circumvented her new flour allergy with a facemask, but with her 51st birthday next month perhaps it’s Craig’s turn to step up to the mixing bowl.