Pat McFadden Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East Pat McFadden MP for Wolverhampton South East
As part of events held across the country to remember the MP Jo Cox who was murdered a few years ago, we organised the biggest and best Bilston Bake off yet.
Jo Cox was an inspirational young woman. With a background working across the world in charities, she became MP for her home town of Batley in Yorkshire in 2015. She was a mum to two young children and had her whole life in front of her when she was brutally killed in 2016, just a year after being elected.
Following her death, the Jo Cox Foundation charity was set up to work on issues she cared passionately about such as combatting loneliness and poverty. Each year the foundation asks communities to set up events where residents have a chance to enjoy being together and celebrate what we have in common in our communities rather than what divides us.
With this in mind, each year I host a ‘Bilston Bake Off’ competition for local residents, schools, places of worship etc. There is nothing that brings people together more than cake! This year was bigger and better than ever with entries from across Bilston and Wolverhampton.
Each entrant had the opportunity to bake something sweet (a cake, biscuit, dessert) and have it judged by an all-star panel of judges where the judges then whittled down the entries to a final five and crowned someone ‘Bilston’s Bake off Champion’. This year’s bake off champion was Gurbax Kaur from Positive Participation who presented a blueberry and banana cake baked by Marcia Reid.
The panel of judges was made up of; Dicky Dodd from Signal 107, The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Linda Leach, Councillor Olivia Birch, Dennice McKinnon (MasterChef semi-finalist from Wolverhampton) and me.
This year we expanded the competition with a trophy for the ‘Best Decorated Cake’. This was awarded to Julie Greensill who made a wonderful cake which depicted Bilston Market to a fine detail. When asked why she decided to do this cake for the bake off competition, she said, “Jo Cox’s foundation does lots of work around isolation and Bilston Market is somewhere which is a heart for the community. If you’re feeling lonely, there are lots of places to visit within the market, you can sit outside with a cuppa and get chatting to people.”
Thank you to everyone that took part and donated, we raised over £500 with donations still coming in. And a special thank you to Revolver Cooperative and to Wolverhampton Trophy Centre for their contributions to the event.