Sweet treats for Hospice Wairarapa

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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Rachel Burgess with Chris Wills, Hospice Wairarapa volunteer services manager. PHOTO/ALISA YONG
Rachel Burgess with Chris Wills, Hospice Wairarapa volunteer services manager. PHOTO/ALISA YONG

Hospice Wairarapa has been dishing out some sweet surprises, thanks to the kindness of some "Good Bitches".

Baking donated by the Wairarapa chapter of Good Bitches Baking has allowed the hospice to set up a baking service for its terminally ill patients.

Hospice volunteer services manager Chris Wills said the reliability of the fortnightly delivery meant the hospice could establish a baking service where fresh or frozen baking was delivered to patients who might need some extra support with cooking.

"The lovely baking that is coming in from these lovely ladies has allowed us to set up a baking service so that the baking is then distributed out to families and patients."

The group had for the past six months or so contributed four or five boxes of baking a fortnight to the hospice.

While the hospice has about 145 volunteers on its books, it had a growing patient base and there was often demand for emergency meals and food, Mrs Wills said.

"It's lovely because we can rely on that baking coming in so we can plan to send it out and the element of surprise is just so lovely for people. The treats are just so special.

"The most special thing about it is that some people might be living on their own ... and there's nothing like home baking is there?"

The Good Bitches Baking group has 10 chapters across the country with another 15 chapters on the way. The Wairarapa chapter was established in September and has about 30 volunteers.

Wairarapa chapter leader and "head bitch" Rachel Burgess said discovering the group had helped her get through a tough period in her life.

"My dad had just died and I used to bake for him and I needed somebody to bake for -- I just needed to keep going. I found out about it at the right time and it was a bit of therapy for me. I literally fell into it at the right time. It's good for your soul."

Mrs Burgess, who also runs the baking business "Rach Bakes", said the volunteers came from all over the district.

"It's all volunteers and out of your own pocket and your own time." While the group's name was controversial, it had helped raise their profile, she said.

"The response is quite funny. A lot of people are like 'why do you call yourself a bitch?' and the response is you call your mate a good bugger -- it's the same thing."

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