Eastbourne woman takes on baking challenge in memory of late father

An Eastbourne woman is baking 85 cakes in eight weeks in order to raise money for charity.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 10:55 am

Marcella Bilsby, who lives in Willingdon is raising money for Kidney Research UK in memory of her father.

Mrs Bilsby said, ”My dad died in March from kidney failure.

“It was very difficult.

Marcella Bilsby with her father Daniel Clark on his 80th birthday. SUS-210726-104424001

“I suppose I was looking for something to do. I wanted to do some kind of challenge.”

Daniel Clark, who was a painter and decorator, was well-known in the Willingdon area, according to his daughter.

She said, “We weren’t able to have a proper funeral and it just felt so disrespectful.

“My dad was so popular and well-known and so many people were unable to pay their respects.

One of Marcella Bilsby's cakes. SUS-210726-104539001

“He made so many friends walking his beloved border collie Ginny and would always stop for a chat with anyone.

“He was well-known for his tremendous knowledge of all things flora and fauna and would regularly identify plants, wild flowers and birds for people.

“I really wanted to do something to involve the community, those that knew and loved him, and also bring some focus to kidney disease.”

Mrs Bilsby said she wanted to do something to raise money and came up with the idea after seeing the Kidney Research UK 850 Challenge.

One of Marcella Bilsby's cakes. SUS-210726-104455001

The 850 Challenge was set up by the charity to raise awareness of the 850 million people living with kidney disease worldwide.

As part of the fundraising challenge the public are urged to complete 850 squats, run 8.5km and jump 8,500ft.

Mrs Bilsby said she interpreted the challenge in her own way and decided to bake 85 cakes in eight weeks to raise £850.

So far the donation target has been raised twice to £2,850 with Mrs Bilsby baking 37 cakes so far.

Mrs Bilsby explained that she always had a passion for baking and wanted to do more.

She said, “I quite enjoy it, I just do not have enough people to feed.

“I can do all the ones I have been drooling over.

“People are donating and in exchange they pick something off my cake list, then I give them a cake.”

Mrs Bilsby, whose favourite cake is a carrot cake, said she is currently baking four days a week.

She said, “I am getting a bit more organised.

“It was a bit chaotic to start with.

“I am still enjoying it. It is quite good fun.”

Mrs Bilsby currently has a ‘cake list’ including all the recipes she wants to try.

She said, “If anybody wants to donate I can send them a cake list and they can get a cake.”

To donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/comfortcakehouse.