The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Free Cakes for Kids

Bake a cake that makes a difference!


What if I told you that there is a way you can bake as much cake as you like, and at the same time you can give a child in Manchester a birthday to remember?

Free Cakes for Kids is a national volunteer organisation which supplies birthday cakes for children whose families are unable to provide them.  Families often struggle to provide birthday cakes for all sorts of reasons, and at the moment it’s especially difficult for families who simply can’t afford it. We match volunteers who love baking to families in need of birthday cakes. The volunteers provide personalised birthday cakes to help make a child’s birthday that bit more special. Volunteers choose which cakes they can bake, so there’s no pressure.

The scheme started in Oxford in 2008, after word spread from similar schemes in the US. Since then it has grown into a national organisation, with more than 45 branches in the UK. The scheme receives no funding: volunteers pay for the ingredients and bake the cake, and we rely entirely on their time and energy.

So readers, this is a call to arms. A rallying cry to the cake-makers of Manchester. Raise your whisks, don your apron, and join us in our quest to provide birthday cakes to the kids of Manchester. No cake request will go unanswered, no child will be without celebratory baked goods.

I’m currently setting up a Didsbury branch of Free Cake for Kids, and I need your help. I’m looking for volunteers in the Didsbury or Withington area – you don’t have to be an expert baker, just a passion for baking and for helping kids! You’re free to bake as many or as few cakes as you like.

Volunteers simply let us know when they’re able to bake a cake, and once made, the baker arranges to meet the kid’s parent or carer in a public place to hand the cake over. Then you get to walk around with a shiny halo and a whole bunch of good karma. Hopefully we’ll also get sent a photo of the kid with their birthday cake, which, let’s face it, gives you a whole lot more satisfaction than watching your housemates wolf your cake down without even looking up from the latest episode of Top Gear.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, find us on Facebook (search Free Cake for Kids – Didsbury) or email us at – we’d love to hear from you!

  • a

    Is this suppose to be ironic? or is it actually another charity for the naive, feckless middle classes? “Hey guys! Let’s bake the most non-nutritional food we can think of and donate it to (statistically likely) malnourished children. Because everybody knows that if you have cake, the fact: you’re dad beats your mum; you’re brother’s doing time; and your Nanna just died of the stress of been moved after the council shut her carehome, just doesn’t matter. #Savingtheworld”

  • Rosie

    I agree with “a”. How dare we consider baking CAKES…for KIDS? That’s not what underprivileged children want! They want vegetables, and lectures from people like “a” stereotyping them and telling them that nothing, especially not cake, will make their poor little lives any better. hats off “a” you tell those ruddy middle classes where to stick their cake #boocake

    • a

      I think you missed the point, so I’ll reiterate, but first 1) I wasn’t stereotyping but exemplifying, and 2) I never once said that nothing will make their lives better, there are plenty of things that would, reforming education for example, or adequate child benefits, cake however, well I’m sceptical.

      The point was this offers no real solution to the problems faced by impoverished children, instead it’s degrading and demoralizing, for parents. For example “we’ll also get sent a photo of the kid with their birthday cake”. It sounds like that sponsoring an abandoned dog advert. How about going to see these kids, see what they go through. Rather living in lala land, patting yourself on the back because you’ve just baked a cake and it’s going to change a kids life, how about facing the reality, which is that they’ll eat the cake, and yeah they’ll probably enjoy, but it changes nothing in the harsh reality of their lives. #Empathynotsympathy

      • d

        All of your examples are stereotypical

  • b

    “a” needs a cupcake

    • a

      haha. I’d love a cupcake.

  • Mmm cake

    Im sorry ”a” but do you really think that getting a (and I stress this) BIRTHDAY cake will not cause a massive amount of joy and truly boost the psychological well being of a child who lives in a household that struggles to provide them even with a cake on their birthday?! And also do you not see the guilt a parent may feel being unable to provide their child with a cake. What the hell is wrong with giving a child the opportunity to enjoy their birthday like any other child would!
    Also may I add that just because you’re poor does in no way mean that you are not as decent a person as everyone else is in the world (besides you of course who would like to deny a child of cake on their birthday). And may I stress that as a ”working class” member of society, I will be more than willing to take part in this scheme.

    P.S. if your that worried about their health you can bake a carrot cake!

    • a


  • name

    I agree with mmm cake, family’s from any background could suddenly be in a situation where they are unable to provide their child a birthday cake. Try not to be narrow minded a, and think back to your younger self, I imagine you wouldn’t understand why you couldn’t have a small treat for your birthday. This isn’t trying to change the world. It is just a very acheivable way of bringing pleasure to a young child, and of course pleasure to those who love baking.

    • name

      PS. this isn’t twitter, no need for hashtagging

  • c

    Nowehere in this article, ‘a’, does the charity claim to be abolishing poverty – you are imposing these grand claims on the charity so that you can ridicule it for your own amusement. If you truly have a problem with the idea of giving a child a birthday cake in order to make their birthday a little more special, then don’t join the charity. It’s that simple. But don’t negatively stereotype others who want to do something a little more positive with their time than whining about harmless children’s charities. Jumping to conclusions about the types of people who are involved in the charity shows extreme narrow-mindedness. You claim it is ignorant to bake a cake and think it will make a child’s life better; obviously it isn’t going to get the child out of their situation but that is not a reason to not do it. Ironically, in accusing members of this charity of ignorance and naivety, you have shown a far greater level of these qualities in yourself.

  • jr

    Grow up “a”, this is an inoffensive and easy way to create a happy memory for a stranger.
    Maybe you should try it out yourself before you belittle the efforts made here

  • Cakes

    I think those people making negative comments really need to consider living there lives in a more positive and less pessimistic way- stop over analysing everything and just see if for what it is- a simple concept designed to make a child and their family smile, if nothing more for that one moment when they receive the cake. :-)