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Service users and staff rise to the challenge of local Bake-Off competition

Service users and staff at Cygnet Hospital Wyke were challenged to revive childhood memories in their own themed version of TV’s Bake-Off competition.

With Kirsty Geldeart, of the Good Karma Café in Brighouse, acting as judge, the bakers had to create cakes that reminded them of a favourite memory. Challengers included a passionfruit cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, flapjacks, cookies and sponges. The winning creation by a service user was a biscotti brownie, which he said reminded him of trips out to meet friends at a local coffee shop before the recent lockdown.

The Bake-Off was part of a series of activities organised by staff at the hospital to help service users maintain their links with the local community during the global health pandemic, and encourage residents to try new skills.

Cygnet Activity Co-ordinator Kate Collins, who conjured up another winner, a Maltesers-topped Millionaire’s Shortbread, said: “My best memory is visiting the bakery every day after school with my best friend to buy millionaire’s shortbread. I added the Maltesers because I used to have a contest with my grandma to see who could catch the most Maltesers in our mouth.”

Another staff member, Ella Humphreys made a birthday cake covered in Smarties, with the words ‘Ella is 6’. She said: “Every year, my mum has made me the same birthday cake with the same design – but I love it.”

Below is a selection of some of the entries. Click on the images to enlarge.

The Good Karma cafe supported the hospital during the lockdown, donating cups and making cakes that meant the hospital was able to recreate a café experience for service users at a time when outings were limited.

Jordy Hirst, Head of Occupational Therapy at Cygnet Hospital Wyke, who came up with the challenge, said: “Having to spend more time inside was a good opportunity for people to try new things and learn new skills.”

Kirsty, of the Good Karma Café, said: “There were some really impressive cakes and they were as tasty as they looked. I hope that the contest has inspired people to take up baking on a regular basis.”

Cygnet Hospital Wyke, in Huddersfield Road, Wyke, offers a specialist psychiatric intensive care service for men, and a highly specialised service to support men with mental illness and a secondary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

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