Care caterers are being invited to take part in a birthday cake challenge to celebrate a special royal birthday in June.

The Novelty 90th Birthday Challenge – launched by Unilever Food Solutions in association with NAPA (National Association of Activity Providers) and the National Trust – will see care homes creating a birthday cake based on one of their resident’s favourite royal memories.

The challenge was launched by Great British Bake Off 2011 winner Jo Wheatley at an afternoon tea party held at Admiral Court care home in Essex. The home’s catering team were treated to a live demo as Jo baked an ‘Ultimate Chocolate Cake’ with a royal birthday theme as their prize for winning Unilever Food Solutions’ Gingerbread Challenge earlier this year. In a fun-filled day that will keep everyone at Admiral Court talking for a while, Jo and the residents spent the day decorating cupcakes before sitting down to share some laughs and stories over afternoon tea.

Sarah Savidge, events and activities coordinator at Admiral Court, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the activities taking place at the home and it was so nice to see everyone smiling and laughing together over tea and cakes. New friendships and relationships have been made and the residents and our catering team have come away feeling inspired and excited to bake.”

Jo Wheatley said: “It was such a privilege to work with the team at Admiral Court following their success in the Gingerbread challenge. I was bowled over seeing them sharing time with their families and doing something fun that they all got involved in.”

An expert judging panel – headed up by NAPA director, Sylvie Silver – will select the 20 best entries in the Novelty 90th Birthday Challenge. These will be featured in a nostalgic baking book, inspired by a 1950s Stork cookbook. The top five entries will be treated to an overnight stay in London for the NAPA Gala in September, where the overall winner will be decided by ballot. The winner of the grand prize will take home five tickets to a National Trust venue of their choice.

UFS’ elderly care development chef, Paul Wright, will also be on the judging panel. He said: “Food can be an amazingly powerful link to our pasts. By focusing the competition around residents’ favourite memories – everyone can get involved in the royal celebrations. It doesn’t matter if it’s a photo, poem, or story – we just want to see residents’ inspiration coming through.”

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