WHEN Jan Harding’s niece was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to put on her apron and get baking cakes in a bid to raise money for charity.
And this year, as people around the country mark Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, Jan is hoping her tasty cupcakes will give a big fundraising boost.
Louise Cowdery, 37, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and is undergoing more treatment.
Last year Jan, 71, from Oak Road in Fareham, raised more than £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support in last year’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
And this year, armed with cakes, pies, homemade jams and cupcakes, she is determined to raise even more.
She said: ‘I have always loved baking ever since I was a child. I think it’s a gift. It’s like artistry or writing poems.
‘It’s a gift that you’re given and you work at what you’re good at.’
Jan has set up a business called Granny Jan’s Cupcakes with all profits going to Macmillan.
She added: ‘It’s really taken off. I’m doing weddings, christenings and birthdays.
‘I think, I’m a healthy pensioner.
‘There are a lot of people who are suffering with cancer.
‘If I can give my talents to raise money to help find a cure for this terrible disease then I feel that I have done something worthwhile.
‘Louise is so brave. She’s not complained once, even though some of the treatment is unpleasant. She puts up with it.
‘She’s such a brave girl. I’m really proud of her for the way that she’s handled her illness.’
Today, people will visit Jan’s home for a coffee and a cupcake all with the aim of raising cash for Macmillan.
Lisa Murphy, Macmillan fundraising manager for Hampshire said, ‘Jan makes the most amazing cakes and she is a great ambassador for Macmillan.
‘I attended Jan’s coffee morning last year which she held in her garden with family, friends and neighbours and there was a real sense of community.’
The money raised from events like the coffee morning is used to fund services such as the cancer information and support centres at Portsmouth hospitals.
The information centres provide free information, as well as emotional support and financial advice, which can be vital to someone facing cancer.