Posted: 17 March 2016

West End kids Bake and Brew for Easter

Dance-school founder Jessica Elliot speaks about her inspiration to help young people and why she is supporting Bake and Brew with her dance students this year.

It all starts with my mum, who is my biggest inspiration.

Growing up, it was just the two of us – it was tough sometimes but mum was always such an inspiration to me. She gave up a City career to devote herself to caring for children. Mum always made me believe that I could achieve anything I wanted to, and she was so passionate about raising strong, confident kids.

So the vision for my dance school was to give kids the opportunity to access affordable dance sessions and see them thrive. I’ve always wanted to make a social contribution, so supporting The Children’s Society has been another great way for me to give back.

Giving back

It’s wonderful that since J’s Dance Factory was founded in 2008, my students have had opportunities to appear in West End shows like the Lion King and Thriller. We were also asked to perform at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, which was a real privilege and fantastic opportunity for the kids.

This Easter, a group of my students got together to support Bake and Brew, The Children’s Society’s baking campaign which raises money to help the most vulnerable young people.

They absolutely loved it – who wouldn’t enjoy messing around with eggs and flour in the kitchen?!

They were promoting Easter Bake and Brew recipes, which include chocolate nests and Simnel cake – all great bakes for Easter.

We want to encourage other kids to get in the kitchen during the holidays, make some Easter treats and sell them to raise money for The Children’s Society.

It’s so sad that some children find themselves forced into adult situations. I believe that your childhood shouldn’t limit the opportunities available to you – so we are supporting The Children’s Society to help young people experience the childhoods they deserve and find help through their terrible circumstances.

We’re planning on holding our own Bake & Brew at the dance school so the rest of the dancers can hear about The Children’s Society and have the opportunity to give back to a great cause.

Although I’m not a MasterChef myself, I love watching baking shows – the Great British Bake Off is one of my favourites. I’ve probably got about five signature dishes, but when I get married in July I suppose I’d better learn a few new ones – cheese sarnies every night could get a bit boring!

If forced to choose, I’d have to say that a good old apple crumble and custard is my favourite sweet treat – but no one can beat my mum’s recipe!

By Jessica Elliot - Guest bloggers
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