Teenager’s cake bakes raise hundreds of pounds for local charity

A Bradley Stoke teenager has used her passion for baking to raise £800 for a local charity which provides therapies, services and support for people living with long-term neurological conditions.

Before the first coronavirus lockdown started in March 2020, Pearl Bruford, 13, had registered with the Brightwell Centre to take part in their Challenge 35, which was set up to mark the organisation’s 35th anniversary. The idea for this was to make an initial sum of £35 grow as much as possible in 35 days for the benefit of the charity.

Photo of Pearl Bruford wearing an apron.
Pearl Bruford.

Pearl had spoken to her school and arranged to have three cake sales for the staff and students, as well as a ‘tea & cake afternoon’ at home to raise funds. Then lockdown happened and all plans were scrapped. Pearl was insistent that she still wanted to help the charity, and not being one to give up, began baking cakes from home and selling them online.

Collage of cakes created by Pearl Bruford.
A selection of cakes created by Pearl Bruford.

Each month Pearl has posted a menu in local Facebook groups and people have ordered placed orders with her. Since accepting her first order in May, she has baked over three hundred cakes and for the 100th, 200th and 300th order she gave away a free cake. For her fundraising, Pearl has baked coffee cakes, Victoria sponges, chocolate cakes, chocolate brownies, sausage rolls, cheese and onion pasties, cupcakes, scones with jam portions, cinnamon rolls and lemon drizzle cakes, and made two different types of crumble using homegrown fruit.

Photo of a chocolate cake.
A cake by Pearl Bruford of Pearl Bakes.

Pearl used the money raised from selling cakes to buy all of the ingredients she has needed and at the beginning of September, Morrisons at Cribbs Causeway generously donated some products. She has also received donations from people within the community and a local company, Fabulous by Design Ltd, now works with Pearl and produces stickers for her.

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At Halloween, Pearl took over 100 orders, and to end the year Pearl made a large number of Christmas-themed cakes, ranging from Christmas cupcakes, chocolate Bundt cakes and Christmas pudding cakes. In total since May, Pearl has raised £800 for the Brightwell Centre which when gifted was a total of £1,000.

Photo of Pearl Bruford with a presentation cheque.
Pearl Bruford with a presentation cheque made out to The Brightwell Centre.

She has decided to continue baking cakes again this year and has chosen the Brightwell Centre for a second year as a charity that she would like to support with the hope of beating last year’s total.

Pearl now has her own website which showcases the cakes she has made for fundraising, celebrations and competitions that she has entered, as well as details of how you can contact her for an order: www.pearlbakes.com

She can also be found on Facebook and you can message her via her mother on 07779 025082 if you would like to order a cake.

Pearl is currently taking orders for Valentine’s Day and has a selection of cakes available which can be found on her Facebook page and on the ‘monthly menu’ page of her website. Fifty percent of all profits will be given to charity.

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