The great Calvary charity bakeoff

The monthly event is a much-anticipated activity.

Residents at a Calvary aged care home in Tasmania have been busy in the kitchen whipping up batches of choc-chip cookies – and all for a good cause.

The bake-off is a monthly event for the residents of Calvary Sandhill – a 132-bed facility in South Launceston. Once baked, the cookies – or every other month an assortment of muffins – are packaged and delivered to a local homelessness charity, Strike it Out.

Candace Harrington – Calvary Sandhill’s leisure and lifestyle coordinator – says she approached residents with the idea after seeing a social media post from the charity asking for assistance. “I saw what they were doing for the community and that they needed a bit of help, so I asked some of the residents if they wanted to try it.”

The residents were “super keen” to get active in the kitchen, says Ms Harrington. “And here we are a year on – and they are still doing it.” She adds that the residents hugely enjoy baking day. “I think there would be trouble if I took it off the activity list.”

Resident Shirley O’Connor agrees: “We thoroughly enjoy it and look forward to it,” she says.

Ms O’Connor – who is in her 90s and partially blind – is one of a group of six or seven residents on the cookie production line. “We all know each other, so we put our gloves on and have a lovely chat as we go,” she says. “After a year we’ve become quite professional.”

The Sandhill bakers

Resident support appreciated

Strike it Out provides homeless people in Launceston with meals twice a week, as well as emergency supplies of basic essentials. The charity also delivers meals to individuals and families in need.

Manager Kirsten Ritchie is grateful to the Calvary residents for their support. She says the baked goodies give some joy to Tasmanians doing it tough. “We believe no-one should be left behind and these wonderful residents are helping bring about positive change in people’s lives and creating feelings of self-worth.”

It’s not just the recipients of the cookies who benefit. “We enjoy it as much as the people we are making them for,” says Ms O’Connor. “We’re doing something for others, and it makes us feel wanted and have a purpose.”  

Main image: Resident Shirley O’Connor with Calvary’s Candace Harrington

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Tags: calvary, candace harrington, strike it out,

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