Norfolk baker cooks up a treat for bereaved youngsters on Channel 5 show
PUBLISHED: 11:10 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:23 06 November 2018
A north North baker is set to appear on the Channel 5 programme Billionaire Kids, after being asked by the show’s producers to create a Christmas-themed, giant-sized gingerbread fir tree.
But while the programme features some of the country’s most pampered and privileged children, Emma Thorburn, of ‘edible art’ company Buns of Fun, decided to use the opportunity to help less fortunate youngsters, by auctioning off the light-up, fairytale creation for bereaved children’s charity Nelson’s Journey.
Mum-of-two Mrs Thorburn, who began making cupcakes in her Sheringham kitchen nearly 10 years ago, now caters for clients ranging from wedding couples to celebrities, also producing centrepiece installations from a 5ft-tall gingerbread Big Ben, to an illuminated sugercraft beach hut for Holkham’s Hall’s annual Christmas celebrations.
She was a finalist in last year’s Eastern Daily Press Wedding Awards and won the Channel 4 show Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas in 2015 with a gingerbread lighthouse.
The Billionaire Kids tree, which took five days to make and has a moving toy train encircling it, features dozens of green gingerbread boughs, fairy-sized doors and stained glass windows made from melted boiled sweets.
Standing on a fondant base, it also includes more than 80ft of piped royal icing, has 36 fondant Christmas wreaths, 250 leaves, marshmallow ‘snow’, a flock of handmade robins in white chocolate nests, and iced lollipop trees.
Having previously run baking activity sessions for bereaved youngsters supported by Nelson’s Journey, Mrs Thorburn was keen for the tree to be used to promote the charity’s work.
“I went through every emotion coming home from the sessions, the children are so open and honest and how they cope with what they have been through is just amazing,” she said.
“I was given free rein to come up with whatever I liked for the Billionaire Kids show and I thought it would be perfect to do something for Nelson’s Journey.”
The tree was auctioned off on Saturday at the charity’s 20th anniversary celebration ball, raising £300.
Nelson’s Journey events co-ordinator Louise Flynn said that in 2017, the Norwich-based charity had received 952 referrals, up 21pc on the previous year.
Thanking Mrs Thorburn for the “spectacular” tree, she added: “We were delighted that Buns of Fun chose to support us and we knew that with Christmas close by, this would be a popular lot.”
For more information, visit www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk