I'm in Year 13 at school; so I'm studying for
my A levels; but around that I'm doing lots of different events:
interviews, primary-school visits, and working with Tearfund on
their No Child Taken campaign.
The thing I enjoy most with the No Child Taken
work is having so many opportunities to meet new and
interesting people, visiting different places and speaking about
things I care about.
Now people know my face, I get recognised when
I'm out and about. I'm aware I need to be the best version of
myself all the time. It's not a bad thing, but can be quite
When I was about ten, I read a biography of
Corrie ten Boom, The Watchmaker's Daughter, by Jean
Watson. I found it inspiring how someone so young was so brave. It
made me want to do something with my life, not just be
I definitely like to be busy. Even before I
appeared on The Great British Bake Off, I was doing lots
with church and other things. It's fortunate I like to be busy,
though, and I drink quite a bit of coffee. I've certainly learnt
about time management and prioritising this year.
It is still hard balancing events and commitments with
friends and church and family. Most 18-year-olds probably
just go with the flow and do what they want, but I'm booked up well
in advance. But I'm really glad to have these opportunities: it
means lot to me, and I want to make the most of it.
Most people are surprised to hear my family don't bake
much, but I wanted to pick up something new, and fill the
cake-gap in our lives.
I've always been adventurous, and I've always
liked to experiment, and baking was the perfect way to do that. I'm
lucky my parents were happy to let an eight-year-old experiment in
I entered The Great British Bake Off
because my friends told me last year I'd be good and should do it.
I had nothing to lose; so I went for it.
Because the baking and the publicity happen at different
times, it's OK. When you're in the tent and baking,
there's no reaction: it's not televised yet; so it doesn't feel
like a TV show. And the publicity isn't happening yet.
As soon as it went on TV, it exploded. Suddenly
everyone had an insight into my world for the past six months. But
it was great - a fantastic experience.
I found out about child-trafficking when I was 14 years
old. It's such a huge injustice in the world that I wanted
to be part of ending it.
This summer I was at the Big Church Day Out in
Sussex. Ihad been praying about how I could use baking for
God, and about my exams, and doing the Bake Off, and
wondering if I was doing the right thing with it all.
One of the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom
Herbert, talked about going to Laos to teach girls there to bake,
so they could support themselves and stay out of the hands of
child-traffickers. When I saw that Tearfund's No Child Taken
campaign was launching the Big Bake when I was filming the The
Great British Bake Off, I knew it'd be a great opportunity to
speak about something I'm passionate about.
The Big Bake tournament is a Tearfund
initiative to get people baking to raise money and raise
awareness, and running bake sales to raise money and awareness.
With Tom Herbert, and Will Torrent, the
chocolatier, I can use the platform I've been given to
encourage people to get behind the campaign, and help protect
children around the world from trafficking, disease, and
One child is trafficked every 30 seconds. It's
a horrendous crime, which goes on all over the world, though so
many people are unaware of it.
You know, there are more slaves today than ever before
in human history, but people just can't get their heads
around that, because of all the anti-slavery laws we have. Children
are the worst-affected, because they are taken from villages when
very young. Their parents aren't educated, and don't realise what
they are doing when they sell their children. The traffickers tell
them that their children will be educated and have a better life
and come home again.
I've applied to university to study food
science, but I've deferred my entry for a year so I can
really make the most of these opportunities I have at the moment. I
would love to keep working with Tearfund, and at some point I hope
to go overseas - perhaps to Cambodia early next year - to see their
work, and hopefully make myself useful there, too.
My family's been a great support to me over the past
year, and, in fact, the whole time I've been baking. My
14-year-old sister's probably a bit fed up by now, though, as
people often think she's me.
I grew up in a Christian family, and God's
always been a big part of our lives. When I was seven, I was at a
local church event, and I made a commitment to God when I became
aware of what he'd done for me.
I do pray: for my friends and family, and just
when it feels right to pray - for lots of different people and
different contexts. It's another part of who I am.
In my non-existent spare time? I love to go
rock-climbing with my sister, and, as a family, just going out to
walk the dog is fun and really relaxing. Other than that, I like
just hanging out with my friends - the usual teenage
My family have been to Austria a couple of
times, which is beautiful in the winter, and I love to ski
when I get the opportunity.
I'd love to have my own cookery book at some
point. A lot of people expect me to want to write a
stu-dent cookery book, but I'm think-ing of something that will
give my favourite delicious recipes - and how to fix them if
something goes wrong, without throwing it all away,
A bonfire or a campfire in the autumn is my favourite
I'm learning to drive at the moment; so
learning to parallel park can be quite frustrating at times. . .
I'll get there in the end.
I'm happiest on a Sunday afternoon, relaxing
after a big, tasty Sunday lunch with the family.
Normally it's my job to help with the Christmas
dinner - getting my hands under the turkey skin to butter
it, and doing the puddings. I'm not normally a great fan of the
whole mince-pie thing - my family aren't massive raisin fans. So I
like to use the traditional Christ- mas spices and make things like
cranberry-and-white-chocolate cake, or cinnamon buns. I do a
Christmas pudding, but we usually have a chocolate Mars-bar pudding
next to it.
Mary Berry has been quite inspirational for me,
the way she's gone about her work and her life, and meeting her was
really special. A lot of different people have influenced my life:
family, friends teachers. It's hard to pick one.
This might be cheating, but our church meets at
Ascot Racecourse; so, if we had the run of the place ,then maybe
I'd choose to meet someone like Frankie Dettori. We could go out on
the gallops, and see it from a rather different angle.
Martha Collison was talking to Terence Handley