About us

The Oxford group was founded in December 2008 as the first of its kind in the UK. This page will tell you more about Free Cakes for Kids in Oxford – our organising team, funding sources, history and contact details.

The organising team

Free Cakes for Kids Oxford is constituted as a community group. This helps us organise our day-to-day activities and holds us to account. You can find our constitution here.

Michele Peters - Volunteer Coordinator and TreasurerChairperson – Michele Peters

Michele is the chair of Free Cakes for Kids Oxford and looks after the day-to-day activities of the group. She liaises with the FCFK network, organises volunteers’ meetings and helps out with organising community baking, fundraising and recruiting new volunteers. In her day job, Michele is a University researcher. She also enjoys baking (obviously) and photography.

PhilsaundersTreasurer & Webmaster – Phil Saunders

Phil joined Free Cakes in 2013 and looks after the pennies. As the treasurer, he is responsible for the accounts, oversees grant money and writes thank you letters to our generous donors. He is also responsible for the upkeep of our website. Phil is an Administrator for the University of Oxford and an avid movie watcher, cyclist and Freemason. He unfortunately has no baking skills whatsoever!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASecretary – Gail Newton

Gail is the Secretary of FCFK Oxford, keeping notes from meetings and helping with the day-to-day running of the group. She is also a Co-volunteer Coordinator (description below). Gail works in book publishing and enjoys making imaginative cakes – a dinosaur cake and a cake made from parsnips are among her latest creations.

Anna Christian - Community liaisonCommunity Liaison – Anna Christian

Anna is responsible for Free Cakes for Kids community connections in Oxford, working with a range of local partner organisations. She would love to hear from you if your service-users would benefit from our bakers’ enthusiasm to make a child feel special with a birthday cake – or to put the cake-making into their hands. Anna is working towards registration as a public health nutritionist and is passionate about equipping people to make delicious creations to enjoy

Co-volunteer Coordinators – Daniela Gonçalves, Heidrun Joeken, Gail Newton

The Volunteer Coordinators are responsible for recruiting new volunteers and explaining what Free Cakes for Kids is all about, including the very important food safety policy and the process we follow, from getting a cake request through to delivering it to the family.

daniela-gonçalvesDaniela has recently joined FCFK, but she has been baking for a long time now.  As well as being a Volunteer Coordinator, Daniela is also a Cake Coordinator (description below)

 

 

 

heidrun-joekenHeidi met Henriette, who set up FCFK, 5 years ago when her daughter Hazel was a baby and whilst she was looking for her first volunteers. Heidi has visited many play groups and Sure Start Children’s Centres with Hazel and has seen how important a birthday cake is to many families and what a happy smile a birthday cake puts on a child’s face! She really enjoy being part of this and previously spread the word about FCFK as the Community Liaison. 

 

Media Coordinator – Laura Horton

Laura is the voice of Free Cakes for Kids Oxford and takes care of all things media. This includes writing and editing press releases and our newsletter. She also keeps our Facebook page and Twitter account up to date. Laura works as a Marketing Manager.

Hannah RollsSpecial Projects –Hannah Rolls

Together with Laura, Daniela and Rachael, she answers the Free Cakes for Kids phone and e-mail account. Previously, Hannah oversaw a number of special projects at Free Cakes for Kids in Oxford, including the community baking sessions and a special publication project. She is also responsible for our fabulous new branded aprons. In her day job, Hannah works for a big publishing house.

Cake Coordinators – Daniela Gonçalves, Laura Horton, Rachael Powers, Hannah Rolls

The cake coordinators are the volunteers who answer the phone and answer emails to take cake requests.

Previous organising teams

2012–2013 Hannah Rolls (Chairperson), Sian Marvelley (Cake Coordinator), Sinead Carroll-Miller (Media Coordinator and Secretary), Michele Peters (Volunteer Coordinator and Treasurer), Beth Collins (Community liaison)
2011–2012 Henriette Lundgren (Chairperson), Sara Tindall (Volunteer Coordinator and Secretary), Ana Pastega (Treasurer), Hannah Rolls (Special Projects), Beth Collins, Heidrun Joeken (Community Liaison), Sinead Carroll-Miller (Media), Malte Ziewitz (Web and IT)
2010–2011 Henriette Lundgren (Chairperson), Stephanie Griggs-Trevarthen (Volunteer Coordinator and Secretary), Ana Pastega (Treasurer), Heidrun Joeken (Community Liaison), Sinead Carroll-Miller (Media), Malte Ziewitz (Web and IT)
2009–2010 Henriette Lundgren, Stephanie Griggs-Trevarthen, Ally Crichton, Malte Ziewitz (before constitution)
2008–2009 Henriette Lundgren (Founder)

Funding and support

Free Cakes for Kids Oxford is run entirely by volunteers on a sustainable community project basis. All volunteers donate their time and ingredients for free. We only need a minimal amount of money to cover telephone and other admin costs. At the moment, we have three sources of support:

  • Gifts in kind (e.g. eggs from farmer David, cake transport from taxi driver Alban, printing from a local printer)
  • Occasional donations (e.g. donations from individuals or organisations like schools or churches)
  • Small grants to cover the costs of special programmes (e.g. Community baking sessions)

Recent grants include:

  • Grassroots Grant, Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), October 2010 (£1,000)
  • Red Nose Community Day Cash, Comic Relief, March 2011 (£1,000)

If you would like to support us, please get in touch.

A brief history

Henriette Lundgren, Founder of Free Cakes for Kids UKThe story of Free Cakes for Kids in the UK began 30,000 feet above the Atlantic. On a flight from Dallas to London, Henriette Lundgren came across an article in People Magazine, which reported on a similar project in the United States. A passionate baker herself, Henriette saw an opportunity to adapt the model and started the first Free Cakes for Kids group in Oxford in December 2008.

After dozens of phone calls, meetings and conversations with neighbours, friends, local charities, social services and food safety experts, the first announcements were put up in children centres, community halls and the local foodbank. Soon, the first ever Free Cakes for Kids birthday cake changed hands in Oxford — a football-themed cake for 6-year-old boy from Holloway.

Since then, we have steadily grown into a fully-fledged community group. Today, we count 25 volunteers, support 2-3 families per week and also have a busy organising team, who take care of the day-to-day activities. In addition, we organise occasional Community Baking sessions and support other local charities with cake whenever we can. Many fantastic people have followed our example over the past three. There are now more than 40 local Free Cakes for Kids Oxford groups across the country, including Bicester, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Sutton, Glasgow and Ballymena. The task of supporting and organising all these groups has recently been taken over by the growing Free Cakes for Kids UK Network.

Contact

Free Cakes for Kids – Oxford
Tel. 07857 439244
info@freecakesoxford.org.uk

For volunteering, please e-mail Michele Peters at volunteers@freecakesoxford.org.uk.