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Flour power! Grandmother’s baking raises £80,000 for charity

A grandmother has raised more than £80,000 for Mary’s Meals, by baking and selling a mountain of delicious treats.

Over the past nine years, Bernadette Barr, 65, has baked more than 5,600 portions of cake, all from her kitchen in Port Glasgow. She sells these goodies at afternoon teas held in aid of the charity – events which have become a sensation in her local area.

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious school meals in 20 of the world’s poorest countries, many of which are impacted by conflict and natural disasters. The promise of a good meal attracts hungry children into the classroom where, instead of working or looking for food, they can gain an education and hope for the future.

The charity recently announced that it is now feeding 2,279,941 children every school day.

Bernadette starting baking for Mary’s Meals after taking her mum, Rachel Stewart, to an event held by Mary’s Meals. It was here that her mum whispered, “If only I was younger.”

Bernadette said:

“My mum had spent many years fundraising to help children living in the world’s poorest countries and I wanted to find a way I could continue in her footsteps. I decided to start baking – and then sell the cakes to raise money for Mary’s Meals.”

Bernadette starts preparing two weeks in advance of each event, baking whipped cream puffs, ginger cakes, old-school cakes and rocky road.

Bernadette added:

“I am proud to be continuing my mum’s desire to help hungry children around the world – as well as just about anyone who came into our family home!”

Emma Hutton, head of grassroots engagement at Mary’s Meals, said:

“I would like to extend a Hollywood handshake to our very own star baker, Bernadette. Bernadette is an incredible woman and a wonderful example of the kindness we see from Mary’s Meals supporters across the UK. Today, more than 2,279,941 children will receive a nutritious school meal because of their generosity. We are so grateful for all these little acts of love.”

It costs just £15.90 for Mary’s Meals to feed a child for a whole school year.

Photo: Chris Watt Photography