Britain has recently fallen back in love with its age-old pastime, baking, thanks to culinary TV hits such as Extreme Cake Makers and the Great British Bake Off. With its popularity on the rise, baking appears to have transcended its original purpose and become a useful therapy tool.
New YouGov research on behalf of the charity Help for Heroes – ahead of its Bake for Heroes campaign during Armed Forces Week from 22nd to 29th June to raise vital funds for wounded veterans – explores the connection between baking and mental health. The findings show that one in five (22%) UK adults say that they find baking therapeutic, while over a quarter (27%) of those polled agree that baking for others makes them feel good. One in six (17%) think baking is a great way to deal with stress and anxiety while 15% believe its beneficial to their mental well-being
David Martin, Head of Supporter Fundraising at Help for Heroes, comments:
“Our research shows that baking provides therapeutic benefits and a real feeling of accomplishment, with people also feeling good about baking for others. That’s why we’re calling on businesses and their staff across the country to sign up for Bake for Heroes Week by visiting www.bakeforheroes.org.uk – and to encourage colleagues to make, sell, buy and eat cake. It’s a great way to build a sense of team, motivate staff and help them de-stress, plus every penny raised will provide vital support to our nation’s wounded heroes.”
The rise of culinary therapy
In its work supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans, Help for Heroes has also found baking and culinary therapy can be a useful tool to aid the recovery of those who have sustained life-changing injuries or illnesses. Multi-award winning Cake Artist and star of Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers series, Rosie Dummer (AKA Rosie Cake Diva), was previously a Helicopter Pilot with the British Army and is a supporter of Help for Heroes. She is therefore well placed to explain why baking provides so many positive benefits:
“Baking is a form of mindfulness which requires the baker to be in the moment and this is, in itself, a form of stress relief. Not only that, it provides a great outlet for people to express themselves creatively plus giving or receiving homemade bakes offers such a real feel-good factor.
“In fact it’s not unusual for friends and family to send a member of the Armed Forces a cake or biscuits while they’re deployed abroad – and this can be such a great pick-me-up when you’re away from home.”
The UK public agree with Rosie as almost half (46%) of UK adults think that baking a homemade treat can be a good way to cheer people up, and 48% of those who have ever baked say they have done exactly this in the past to try to make someone feel better.
The favourite bake of the nation and the UK’s Armed Forces is revealed
The research also reveals that Lemon Drizzle is the nation’s favourite sweet bake, with 12% of UK adults selecting this as their favourite, beating Chocolate Brownies, Carrot Cake and Victoria Sponge to the crown. Yet while those in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are in support of this winning cake (11% and 14%, respectively), the Royal Marines far prefer an indulgent Chocolate Cake (14%) and the British Army throw their weight behind the scrumptious Carrot Cake (13%).
Help for Heroes is encouraging the bakers of Britain to join forces for the nation’s biggest bake sale and be part of ‘The Force for Good’ by raising money to empower wounded and injured veterans and their families to reach their potential.