Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield girl with autism receives Diana Award for baking cakes

Alana's Caring Cakes
Image caption Alana started making recipes from her great-grandmother's Be-Ro recipe book and is now writing a book in the same style

A girl with autism who bakes cakes to cheer people up has been honoured with an award launched in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Alana Habergham-Rice, 12, from Sheffield, has been baking Alana's Caring Cakes since the age of six, raising more than £5,000 for charity.

Her mother Rachel Habergham said baking reduces Alana's anxiety, which has become "particularly important since her autism diagnosis".

She was given a Diana Award earlier.

The awards, which were launched in 1999, are given to young people who are "change makers for their generation", the charity said.

Alana's fundraising includes raising money for the Sheffield Hospital Charity and treatment for Daisy, her school friend with cerebral palsy.

Image caption Money from Alana's cakes goes towards treatment for her friend Daisy

"It's not about the money, it's about the happiness it brings people," Alana said.

"I want to always bake for people as a hobby because I don't do it for money."

She was nominated for the award by the Rotary Club which knew her through a young citizen award last year.

Alana's Caring Cakes was launched to bake for people in the community experiencing challenges, with people nominating who they think deserves a cake via the Facebook page.

She chooses several people a month then bakes and, with her mother, delivers the cakes within a 20-mile radius of their home in Kiveton Park.

Ms Habergham said: "The people Alana chooses to bake for often have illnesses or are carers.

"But she's also baked for doctors, a vicar, teachers, and helpful shop workers."

Image caption The aim of the Diana Awards is to "inspire more young people to make positive change in their communities and lives of others"
Image caption White Loft is a community shop in Kiveton Park which received a cake just before lockdown

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