A Worcester schoolgirl has been praised by a national charity after raising hundreds of pounds in memory of her late dad.
RGS pupil Evie Stennett raised over £1,000 by baking cakes following the death of her father, Bazil, in January of this year following a short battle with lung cancer.
A fan of The Great British Bake Off, Evie began baking after her dad’s funeral, where she told mourners about her plan to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Mum Susanah said the 12-year-old’s baking exploits would have delighted her dad, who had always encouraged her interest.
“It has been a way of coping with grief and doing something positive to raise money for such an important cause,” said Susanah.
“Evie knows that lung cancer is often diagnosed late, when treatment options are limited, so she knows how vital research is.
“When someone dies, people always ask if they can do anything – and of course there’s nothing they can really do.
“The nicest thing about Evie’s baking is that it has given people a way of expressing their sympathy and support.
“People have bought so many cakes and have been so kind, it’s been wonderful.”
Bazil had started working as a painter and decorator after retiring as a prison officer.
This, combined with working on his allotment, meant he dismissed his aches and pains.
It was only when he became suddenly ill in December 2021, having difficulty breathing and moving, that he was rushed to hospital.
There he was found to have fluid around his heart before further scans revealed he had lung cancer which had spread to other areas of his body.
Susanah explained how staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital pulled out all the stops to get Bazil home for one last Christmas with his family.
“Baz came home on Christmas Eve, with a lot of equipment and medication to keep him comfortable.
"We were so glad to just have him home, and to enjoy that Christmas together, despite the situation.
“Evie and I were lucky enough to have him with us for nearly a month before he deteriorated rapidly at the end of January.
“There were only seven weeks between Baz’s diagnosis and death, so it was obviously a huge shock to all of us.
"But he was such a cheerful, active man, he would have hated things to be drawn out and desperate – so in many ways it was a mercy that it was quick.”
Now, the local Cancer Research UK committee has presented Evie with a medal and certificate to mark her fundraising achievement.
Dan Roberts, local relationship manager for Cancer Research UK in Worcestershire, said: “We were all so moved to hear about Evie and Susanah’s loss and how they turned it into something so positive to help Cancer Research UK.
“We can’t thank Evie enough for her support and want to wish her the very best in all her future baking challenges. I can personally vouch for the deliciousness of her cakes!”
For more information about Cancer Research UK call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org.