ROYAL Wootton Bassett Academy students who used their buns to raise more than £500 handed over the cash to homeless charity the Filling Station yesterday.
The Bassett Bakers, a group of 20 youngsters who have taken part in a monthly cooking club set up in 2011, presented a cheque for £596 to Angus Macpherson, the treasurer of the Filling Station and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Swindon and Wiltshire.
Over the past three years the group have raised around £1,200 for the soup kitchen for the homeless thanks to their baking skills.
The muffins they make in a variety of different flavours are then sold at events and music concerts throughout the school year.
Thirteen-year-old Bridget Lee from Royal Wootton Bassett joined the group when she was in Year 7.
She said: “I really enjoy it because you’re helping other people while having fun yourself. I joined Bassett Bakers because I like cooking. The money we raised will go to help lots of people who need it.”
Asim Aslam, from Shaw, also joined the group to learn more about cooking.
The 14-year-old said: “I joined because I like cooking and I wanted to try out baking. You also get to eat everything after. It’s also good to be able to help other people.”
The group meet once a month at a skills workshop with food and nutrition teacher Deb Sheehan, who has also started up a master bake-off which takes place at the end of the academic year.
She said: “They dedicate a lot of their time to come along once a month after school. To start off with it was just an idea for people who wanted to come along and have a go and since then it’s just grown and grown. I am so proud of them and I just want to say a big thank you to everybody who has supported them.”
Mrs Sheehan decided to raise money for The Filling Station after a conversation with a nurse several years ago.
She began to notice the number of homeless people around Wootton Bassett and decided to try and get her students involved with trying to support them.
She said: “I thought that it was really sad that there are really people in my own town, in Wootton Bassett of all places, who are homeless.
“It started off as a small thing and now more and more people are getting involved.
“The musicians have joined in and so have the Sixth Form, and I didn’t encourage them to do it, they just did it themselves.”
The Academy is one of the Filling Stations most reliable fundraisers, and their latest cheque will pay for 10 per cent of the charity’s running costs for the year.
Mr Macpherson said: “It’s a really massive effort and it’s probably the third or fourth time that the Bassett Bakers have raised money for the Filling Station.
“It’s amazing because the money will go to help people who aren’t that much older than they are, which is a concerning thought.”
To find out more about the Filling Station and how you can help, visit www.filling-station.org.