Baking buns for injured service people has brought Kath Ryan to the attention of the Prime Minister. The retired nurse from Birmingham has been recognised as one of Britain's 'Points of Light' by Theresa May.
“Our Armed Forces sacrifice so much for our country and, with ‘Cakes 4 Casualties’, you have created a unique method of bonding with service men and women who have been injured, giving them time out from treatment to enjoy a homemade treat and a compassionate chat.”
Prime Minister Theresa May
The Prime Minister's Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.
Kath has already won the Volunteer of the Year title at the annual Brummie Awards for her dedication. She founded Cakes 4 Casualties after seeing how injured service personnel's spirits were lifted by the simple joy of cake. In the last seven years she's baked thousands of buns, birthday cakes, and even wedding cakes for armed forces personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kath's mission started by accident seven years ago when she met injured servicemen during a visit to her sister at Birmingham's Selly Oak Hospital. She'd made buns as a treat for her sister and shared them with the men. They obviously enjoyed them so much she took some more in next time. Now she's dedicated her retirement to bring a smile to the faces of injured armed forces personnel.
"I was struck by their courage, their humour, and their cheek. I think 'You've been shot, you've been blown apart, and you can still go wow at a fairy cake."
Kath Ryan, Cakes4Casualties
There's a close relationship with the armed forces wheelchair rugby team. Kath even went to Florida to support them at the Invictus games. Any birthdays are an excuse to bake something special.
"It lights everybody's day up. It's just a nice thing to do"
Grant Harvey, wheelchair rugby player