PERSONAL trainer Rebecca Marsh was about to take up a teaching post and buy her first house when swine flu struck. The prolonged illness led to chronic fatigue and depression – until an afternoon in the kitchen changed her life.
“I made my dad a birthday cake and he really loved it. Everyone said how good it was and I was stuck in the house with nothing to do, so I made a few more,” recalls Rebecca, 22, who lives at Halfway with boyfriend Scott.
Then she hit on the idea of setting up her own cake-making business: “Physically I was a lot better and mentally I was ready for a challenge.” She applied to the Prince’s Trust for support and the result was the English Rose Cake Company – now a flourishing success.
Rebecca enjoys cooking and was good at art. So she read up on baking and decorating techniques, then put her skills into practice. The Prince’s Trust gave her the confidence to launch the business, with money for a website and a mentor to build up her confidence.
Her first order was for a three-tier cake themed on the Japanese manga series Dragon Ball. Since then she has expanded her range to include everything from exotic sugar paste flowers and teddies to cakes shaped like an iPad, an Aston Martin and a Hermes Kelly bag.
“Any design you have in mind, I can create into an edible masterpiece,” says Rebecca, who is developing her trademark floral design into a range of wedding cakes due to be launched this month.
“I love what I do and I think it’s helped me recover from the illness too because it’s given me something to focus on.”
She is repaying the Prince’s Trust by becoming a Young Ambassador.