Hairy Berry and Paw Hollywood in Nottingham students' Cake Off

09 Mar 2017 12:50:20.360


Ready…set…bake! Staff and students at The University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus will be hoping for a good rise and to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom when they compete in the 2017 SB Cake Off next Thursday 16th March 2017.

Now in its 5th year, star bakers taking part in this year’s Cake Off have received some paw-some encouragement via a new video featuring celebrity ‘cooks’ Hairy Berry, Paw Hollywood and other canine friends. 

Offering staff and students the chance to prove they know their way around a kitchen as well as a lecture hall, the event asks for creative entries in four different categories: From Farm to Fork; Science Meets Cake; Responsible Consumption and Production and Vets in the Community. 

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However, the event at the campus which is home to the University’s Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science, also has a serious side. This year it will support the Vets in the Community scheme, a veterinary student led charity that offers free preventative health care to the pets of the homeless people of Nottingham. 

Clinics are held twice a month and they have a regular client base to which they offer vaccinations, micro-chipping and treatment for minor illnesses, amongst other things. They are self-funded and rely on the kindness and generosity of public donations. 

Dr Wendela Wapenaar, Associate Professor in Farm Animal Medicine at the Vet School, has been involved in the Cake Off from the start, said: “Vets in the community is a great charity supporting homeless and vulnerably housed people in the Nottingham area. In addition to providing basic health care to the pets of this group of people, undergraduate vet students get a unique chance to put their newly acquired skills in practice. Exposing them to the breadth of clients they’ll see in practice is crucial in their learning. Students demonstrating their care towards pets and people is a great thing and does not only help the pet but also their owner to sometimes re-establish their trust in people.” 

Rebecca Dodd, undergraduate veterinary student and organiser of the Cake Off event, said: “The main themes of SB Cake Off are to bring the campus together, have fun and enjoy everyone's creations; with the whole day having a really community feel. This year’s competition will have an added emphasis on this with the creation of the "Leave your mark on SB" mural, a piece of artwork where students and staff can add their handprint to mark the 5th year of the competition. 

“With four broad categories, there really is the opportunity for anyone to get involved and bake something everyone can enjoy. As a student, I feel taking part in SB Cake Off gives you a chance to show your creative side and do something different from the day-to-day studying, as well as raise money for charity. We normally bake as a house which can be a little messy but is great fun and a highlight of the year.” 

Megan Coram and Harriette Pink, 2nd year veterinary undergraduate students, were winners of the cake day in 2015. 

Megan said: “We started supporting SB cake off in 2015 by baking a cake. After winning the Veterinary Medicine, Public Vote and the Overall winner categories with our cake 'Rhinos should be horny!' we were invited into the cake off family and came back as judges the following year. This year we are helping run the cake off event with our considerable cake consumption skills! We are also preparing a fun hand print memorial event for the day. Come and make your mark!” 

In the past four years, fantastic cakes ranging from ringworm in cats, nesting chickens, sows with piglets to beautiful vegetables and gardens prepared by very creative students and staff, and are evaluated by expert judges. There is a chance to buy whole cakes in a silent auction in the morning, to vote online for the best cake, or to buy a slice in the afternoon, after the prize giving event.

The Cake Off made it on to national TV two years ago after (then fourth-year students) Rachael Lowton and Jennie Stoddart were asked to design a cake for the special Comic Relief episode, The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice.

To support the Vets in the Community charity, please donate via its Just Giving page

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Dr Wendela Wapanaar in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 6260, 

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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