Chefs and volunteers rose to the occasion to bake and deliver hundreds of cakes across Essex so older people could enjoy the eighth Great Jewish Bake Day last week.

The coronavirus pandemic meant people were unable to get together for tea parties like previous years, so hundreds of cakes were delivered to Jewish Care community centre members, supportive tea party guests, group members and Meals on Wheels recipients in Essex, London and the wider south east.

Volunteer Sarena Chevin, from Chigwell, was delivering Meals on Wheels for Jewish Care before the Covid-19 crisis.

She said: “I’m really pleased to be part of the team helping the community and my son has joined me once a week for the Meals on Wheels deliveries so it’s been nice to do that together.

“It’s lovely to take the meals and cake for Bake Day too and to see the people we deliver to, to check they are okay and have a chat. Sometimes we are the only people they will see that day.”

Community tea party hosts in north east London sent cake to their guests through volunteer delivery drivers and then held their parties on Zoom, while community centre coordinators also sent out special edition baking-themed activity magazines.

Jamie Shone, an 18-year-old volunteer, delivered cake and a goody bag to Jewish Care’s Redbridge community centre member Anita Frankle for Bake Day.

The 90-year-old volunteered in the shop at the community centre for 15 years before becoming a member.

She said: “It was a lovely surprise to see the young volunteers from Redbridge Jewish Community Centre at my front door and I enjoyed the cake for tea.

“I speak to my friends and the staff at the centre, I loved volunteering in the shop all those years and I look forward to going back to be with everybody.”