Gaskells has kicked off its annual October month of fundraising for Liverpool homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre with a Bake-Off, which proved we have some excellent bakers amongst us! Each year we dedicate the whole of October to raising money for the charity in a number of ways at our Head Office.  Last year we had a Pie-Off, so this year decided to have a Bake-Off. From a company point of view it’s a great thing to do as it gets all the different departments involved and gets us all together, it’s fun, and from The Whitechapel Centre’s point of view, it raises some money along with more awareness, which is just as important as the money.

As a company, we like to be able to support worthwhile causes and charities, and homelessness and the waste industry are very closely linked, which is why we decided to make The Whitechapel Centre our primary charity. Every day our drivers see people sleeping on the streets, and a number of people sleeping rough have actually died, after sleeping in commercial bins, and either being crushed in the bin, or in the back of the truck and we’re lucky it hasn’t happened to us. This is one of the reasons we decided to support the charity, and to kick off our October fundraising, decided to raise money one slice of cake at a time. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like cake?

Competition was extremely fierce, this was taken extremely seriously by Gaskells’ Master Bakers. Entries included Lemon Meringue Pie, Black Forest Gateaux, Rainbow Cake, Coffee Cake, Lemon Drizzle, Cookies, Scones, Brownies, Chocolate Squares, and the old favourite, Rice Crispie Chocolates.

An independent judge was brought in, Julianna from The Whitechapel Centre, and there could only be ONE winner. Congratulations to Gemma from the Sales Team for her fabulous Gaskells themed chocolate cake.

On the day we raised a grand total of £72, which will go a long way. This is what money donated to The Whitechapel Centre can pay for:

£5 – cooked breakfast for 10 rough sleepers

£10 – Housing advice session to help a homeless person secure accommodation

£25 – Tutor to teach essential life skills.

This really shows every penny does help, and coupled with swear boxes installed in all our departments for the rest of the month to raise more money. We’ll also be holding a penalty shootout and a fancy dress day later on in the month. This is a small part of the work we do with The Whitechapel Centre, we also work with them  to raise awareness of the dangers of sleeping in bins. All our containers have stickers on warning of the dangers, along with contact details for The Whitechapel Centre, our drivers are trained to check all our bins before they’re lifted, our trucks have cameras fitted so the drivers can see exactly what’s going into the back of them, plus our main truck in Liverpool is branded with the details for The Whitechapel Centre. The work the team there do is absolutely fantastic to support homeless people or people at risk of becoming homeless in Liverpool and the surrounding area, so we’re incredibly proud to work with them.