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Dublin grandmother bakes 400 cakes and raffles diamond ring

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Carol Collins stockpiles baked goods in her freezer months ahead of the Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice event.

The 76-year-old, who runs the Collinstown Business Park in Swords with her husband Brendan, uses her own home-grown organic produce to pack eight freezers with cakes, tarts and soups.

To date, her cake sales have raised over €37,000 in eight years for St Francis Hospice in Dublin.

The grandmother-of-15 says she starts cooking for the coffee morning the minute the first fruits and vegetables come into season.

“I start cooking months in advance and pack eight big freezers with all kinds of cakes which people then start giving me orders for,” said Carol.

“We grow organic food on our small farm, so I make gooseberry, blackberry, plum and rhubarb and ginger jams.

“I make apple, plum and rhubarb tarts, and fruit sponges, as well as homemade leek and potato, cauliflower and broccoli and French onion soups.

“I’d say there are easily over 400 cakes in the freezers but there are orders for them in already,” she added.

Carol has had three friends who have passed away in a hospice, so this event means a lot to her.

Tomorrow’s coffee morning at Carol’s home will have an additional sparkle as she will be raffling a diamond ring which she found on her land many years ago.

“It really touched my heart and since I started the coffee mornings, three work colleagues have died in the hospice, where they received amazing care,” she said.

“I have a lot of friends in Bridge clubs as well as local businesses who donate fabulous prizes for the raffle.

“This year, I’m raffling a diamond ring we found many years ago and, despite all our efforts, was never claimed.”

The nationwide fundraiser, supported by Bewley’s since 1992, has a €2m fundraising target this year. Funds raised locally, stay local.

Together for Hospice, The National Hospice Movement, represents 26 hospice and specialist palliative home care providers which support patients and their families.

You can register to host a coffee morning this month or you can donate directly.

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