Cakes 4 Casualties
699. Kath Ryan
Kath Ryan is the accidental founder of ‘Cakes4Casualities’, a unique charity providing friendship and cakes for injured service personnel in hospital.
Keen baker Kath took a selection of cakes into hospital in Birmingham when she visited her sister there in 2009. A chance encounter meant that the treats were shared with a number of injured service personnel being treated on a neighbouring ward who asked for more to be delivered soon! Kath returned with 12 dozen cakes the next week. The positive response she received and the way patients stopped to talk about their experiences, made Kath quickly realise this couldn’t be a one off.
She has returned to the hospital every week since and pays monthly visits to Headley Court. Kath’s Cakes 4 Casualties visits have become an important morale boost for injured soldiers with welfare and mental health teams at the hospitals praising the positive contribution she makes.
In a personal letter to Kath, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“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.”
“I am surprised and a little overwhelmed at receiving a Point of Light award, for something I love doing. I am in a very privileged position as Cake Lady, to be able to support our injured and sick troops on their journey to recovery. It is the simplest of acts that brings great joy and comfort to them. They too have enriched my life beyond belief.
The Prime Minister’s award recognises the that even the smallest act of kindness can make a difference, thank you for acknowledging the work of Cakes 4 Casualties.”
Colonel K M Richardson, Commanding Officer at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, said:
“Kath’s dedication to our wounded Service personnel is an inspiration to us all and we at RCDM are very proud of our enduring association with her. Her presence, and cakes, is appreciated by staff and patients alike and we are delighted that, after touching the lives of so many people, she has been recognised in this way.”