Work of Lancaster hospice being showcased on national TV

Nicky Willan and Phil Jensen with the cake.
Nicky Willan and Phil Jensen with the cake.
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A Lancaster hospice will be featured on national TV next week when the cake making extraordinaires at Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers return for a third series.

Narrated by Rufus Hound, one of the episodes, due to be broadcast on Monday September 4, will see the work of volunteers at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster being acknowledged with an extra special cake.

The cake, a bright green oak tree complete with edible acorns, hedgehogs, owls and a rabbit, was designed by award-winning Cornwall-based cake makers, Peboryon.

Standing three feet tall, the 50-kilo masterpiece was created at the Peboryon studio in Penzance before making an epic 390-mile journey north to Lancaster.

Phil Jensen – one half of Peboryon – was inspired to create something for the Hospice after his parents started volunteering on the ward at weekends.

Delivering it in person, he said: “My mum has spoken so highly of the Hospice so it’s great to come here and see it for myself. I’ve been absolutely blown away by it and can’t think of a better environment and more deserving place for people to enjoy the cake.”

“The thinking behind it was to say thank you to all of the volunteers for the fantastic work they do, so we also embossed the words “thanks”, “cheers”, and “ta” into the icing. Despite the hundreds of miles it travelled, the only casualty was one of the rabbit’s ears, which we had to replace at the other end!”

The cake took three days to make and was made up of 15,000 grams of fondant icing and 10,000 grams of chocolate grenache. When sliced, there were enough pieces for more than 200 people.

Nicky Willan, Volunteer Co-ordinator at St John’s Hospice, said: “The big oak tree in the garden at St John’s was planted by the founding nuns and our logo is an oak leaf so it’s particularly fitting to have a cake modelled on a tree.

“We actually have three times as many volunteers than staff so we couldn’t do the job we do without their support. They really add to the friendly atmosphere at St John’s so its going to be great to see them all being celebrated on national TV next week.”

Phil and Christine Jensen who run Peboryon (Cornish for Bakers) in Penzance are one of eight cake companies who regularly feature on the show. The husband and wife team lived in Lancaster from 1994 to 1997 where Phil worked as an architect and Christine as an occupational therapist. Nowadays they supply many of the UKs top hotels including The Dorchester.

The third series of Extreme Cake Makers returns from Sunday 2nd September at 6pm on Channel 4 and continues at 5.30pm on weekdays on Channel 4. The St John’s Hospice episode is due to be shown at 5.30pm on Monday 4th September. To find out more or watch again, visit http://www.channel4.com/info/press/programme-information/extreme-cake-makers.