The Hackney-based MasterChef 2013 champion has signed up to support an initiative that provides free birthday cakes to disadvantaged local children.
Natalie Coleman, who was born in the borough, is the new patron of Free Cakes for Kids Hackney, a branch of the national network, which gets volunteers to bake personalised cakes for children whose families would otherwise struggle to provide one.
She said: “I felt honoured to have been approached, and surprised as it came out of the blue. It’s great to be involved in a project that’s for a good cause and in my neighbourhood.”
Describing herself as “the girl from Hackney that did good,” Ms Coleman was approached by the charity because of her strong ties to the borough as well as her love of food and cooking.
Hackney has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country and the organisation’s founders are hoping to expand their activity within the borough.
FCFK Hackney co-founder Sophie Howes said: “We were huge fans of Natalie on MasterChef and were cheering her on when she won.
“We hope that, with Natalie’s involvement, our organisation can grow further and we can provide even more cakes for disadvantaged kids in Hackney. Plus we reckon she can make a mean Victoria sponge!”
Her first task as patron was fronting the group’s annual fundraiser which took place on 13 April at Crate Brewery. The event included cookery demos by a variety of chefs, including Natalie.
Miss Coleman said: “I love the concept of the project, as every child does deserve a birthday cake.
“As a child this is something that I took for granted as me and my sister never went without one. Your birthday is your own special day where for one day it’s about you and it’s horrible to imagine that some children miss out on that.”
To donate to FCFK Hackney, make a referral or find out more about the organisation, please visit www.freecakesforkidshackney.com or follow @fcfkhackney on Twitter.