Tearfund ambassador and former Great British Bake Off contestant Martha Collison raises £7000 in 21-hour bakeathon to help trafficked children


Former Great British Bake Off contestant and Tearfund ambassador Martha Collison raised over  £7000 in a 21-hour bakeathon at her family home in Ascot, as part of Tearfund’s No Child Taken campaign. The bakeathon took place from midday Saturday to 9:00 on Sunday morning, to mark international Anti-Slavery Day (18th October), which highlights the ever-present and appalling plight of millions of children caught up in modern day slavery.

During the bakeathon, Martha baked over 200 cakes, include marshmallow teacakes, courgette cake and chocolate brownies, raising enough money to protect nearly 200 children from child trafficking through Tearfund’s campaign.

Joined by family and friends, the Waitrose columnist tested out new recipes for her next book as she baked through the night.  At midnight she was joined by fellow Bake Off contestant Richard Burr, who made baklava with her and answered baking questions submitted by Twitter users.

The cakes were then sold at a Big Bake sale at her local church to raise more money for Tearfund, with her raspberry and chocolate cake selling for a whopping £160.

Martha Collison said, ‘It has been a long 21 hours but I am so glad I did it! I chose to do a 21-hour bakeathon to raise money for Tearfund’s No Child Taken campaign, after hearing about a young boy named Nazeeb who was forced to work 21 hours a day in horrendous conditions, after being trafficked from his home village.

‘When I visited Cambodia with Tearfund in February I saw first-hand how vulnerable children were to being trafficked. The root cause of trafficking is poverty – children are unknowingly lured into dangerous situations by traffickers because of the promise of better pay and a better life. The reality can’t be more different.  Tearfund works in these poor, rural communities, equipping children and parents with skills to help them build a small business – whether in motorbike repair, broom-making, or even baking – so they don’t fall prey to the traffickers’ advances.

I am delighted to have raised over £7000, and made at least 200 cakes! This money will protect nearly 200 children from trafficking and it’s fantastic that a skill I have, like baking, can make such a difference.’

Tearfund works with partners across the world to protect children from trafficking through a range of projects which support livelihoods, training and education.

Jamie Fyleman, Director of UK Church Relationships, said ‘Trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world today, with 1.2m children trafficked every year. Tearfund is working with some of the most vulnerable families and communities in the world, to help prevent this appalling crime and keep our children safe. Martha has been a fantastic advocate of our No Child Taken campaign, and I am thrilled that her epic bakeathon has helped keep even more children from the grip of human traffickers.’

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