TV ‘Bake Off’ Star Sue Perkins stopped off at Nottingham Children’s Hospital at QMC to visit patients and their families, as well as do some cake judging of her own in support of the hospital’s £3 million Big Appeal.
Staff from across the Children’s Hospital had spent the weekend baking, trying to make a big impression for the appeal which Nottingham Hospitals Charity is spearheading to raise funds for state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, onsite family accommodation and research into childhood conditions.
Sue spent time chatting to young patients on the cancer and orthopaedic wards including fourteen year old Charles Gosling who was keen to get a selfie with the comedienne. Sue said: “I loved chatting to children and it’s wonderful to see how well they come through treatment. When I met Charles he’d just come back from surgery and was really chatty, even managing to take a selfie!”
Sue also stopped to chat to parents Carl and Chantelle O’Connor who were with their three year old son James who is being treated following surgery for a brain tumour. When Sue visited, James had his twin brother Joshua with him and she said: “It’s a worrying time for parents and I’ve seen how they’re helped when their children are poorly in the hospital. I have a lot of respect for the staff here.”
As with the real ‘Bake Off’ when it came to judging the cakes there was heaps of laughter and a slice of anguish as staff presented their best efforts to Sue. Many contestants had struggled valiantly trying to capture the hospital’s Little Robin Hood mascot on their cakes.
However, in keeping with her quirky take on things, Sue chose a rather unusual chocolate cake as a winner. The vegan ‘take on a choc bake’ was made by one of the young patients from the hospital’s Youth Service, Jennifer Hallsworth, who along with her mum baked the unique cake. Appreciating the quirky one-off, Sue said: “I’ve chosen a winner who made a truly unique cake with a unique take on ingredients that was a first for me!”
Nottingham Hospital’s Charity’s Chief Executive, Barbara Cathcart , added: “Over the next three years we have an amazing opportunity to make a real difference for more than 60,000 children and young people who use the Children’s Hospital each year. Sue’s visit was a wonderful tonic and we are so grateful for her support for our Big Appeal. We are also amazed that she managed to taste a slice of each and every cake – twenty in total!”
Nottingham Children’s Hospital’s Clinical Director, Stephanie Smith, said: “Our Children’s Hospital at QMC is a specialist centre for the children and young people of Nottingham and also critically ill children with cancer, kidney, brain and respiratory conditions from the region and beyond. For this reason the new equipment, research and facilities the Big Appeal will fund are hugely important to many families and are vital in achieving good outcomes for our young patients.”