Newcastle Helix bake off raises ‘dough’ for St Oswald’s Hospice

Newcastle Helix has been hosting some ‘ele-tastic’ activities to raise funds for St Oswald’s hospice and in support of Elmer’s Great North Parade.

Events have included a ‘Elmer Great North Bake Off’ which was held on the 15th October at the Core on Newcastle Helix.

There were 12 entries, with Newcastle Helix businesses, partners and stakeholders using this opportunity to show off their baking skills and creativity. Competitors had some amazing designs that celebrated everything that is wonderful about Elmer The Patchwork Elephant.

A judging panel tested and marked all of cakes and were scored based on creativity, taste, uniqueness, presentation, flavour and how the bake represented the story of Elmer.

Judges included Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment and Culture, Newcastle City Council, Jane Hogan, Head of Fundraising, St Oswald’s Hospice and Dr Martin Cooke, Newcastle University who has previously worked for Mr Kipling.

They presented three prizes. The ‘Most Creative’ prize went to Jacquie Homes and Andrea Charlton from Newcastle City Council who wowed the judges with their design, which was based on Newcastle Helix’s very own Elmer, Electric Ellie. This was is a bright and colourful design that featured imagery that resonates with the site’s history.

The ‘Tastiest’ prize went to Mitchell Galloway from Newcastle City Council, with all three judges impressed with the taste of his rainbow creation. The ‘Most Unique’ prize went to Holly Hart who is based in the Core. She was chosen as a winner of this category because of the effort and detail that had gone into her cake. It was a character-based bake that was shaped like Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, with meringue shaped clouds, bursting with hundreds and thousands.

A special prize was also awarded to Nicola Dolman who works in the Urban Sciences Building. She scored highly across the board and the judges felt her Elmer Book cake design and tasty rainbow filling deserved recognition.

Once all the cakes had been judged and prizes awards, friends of Newcastle Helix were invited to come and eat cake and make a donation to St Oswald’s Hospice.

Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment and Culture said: “This event was a great way to bring our Helix community together. Our very own Elmer ‘Electric Ellie’ has really helped us to engage the public, animate our site and provide new opportunities for people to get involved.

“The Great North Elmer Parade has been amazing for our city with thousands of people engaging in arts and culture and learning about the great work St Oswald’s do. I am proud to say that we have played a small part in raising awareness and much-needed funds for this amazing charity who make such a difference to people’s lives.”

Jane Hogan, Head of Fundraising, St Oswald’s Hospice said: “We are delighted to have Newcastle Helix as one of our Elmer’s Great North Parade sponsors and want to say thank you to everyone involved in fundraising for St Oswald’s.

“The Elmer trail is just a wonderful way to bring together people and businesses from across the region. It sounds like the Newcastle Helix team have cleverly used cake as a tool to spend some quality time together – something very close to the hearts of the staff and patients at the hospice”

All proceeds will go to St Oswald's Hospice who provide specialist hospice care to North East adults, young people, babies and children with life-limiting conditions.

Electric Ellie is located just outside the Urban Sciences Building on Newcastle Helix. Make sure you pop and see her before the trail ends on the 1 November. To find out more about the trail visit

If you do grab a selfie or any pictures post your photo on social media copying @electric_elmer and @stoswaldsuk and using the hashtag #GreatNorthElmer.

On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10, the 50 large and 114 small sculptures, will gather for a final celebration at Newcastle Racecourse. It is the last chance to see each of the individually decorated sculptures before they go up for auction on 12 November, there will be a whole host of family events. Further information is online.

Most of the herd will then be sold at ‘Elmer’s Big Charity Auction’ at Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 12th November. Everyone is invited to come along to this finale event, whether its to bid for a favourite lot or simply just enjoy the electric atmosphere, as the elephants find their forever homes. Tickets are available online.

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