Chipping Norton baker donates hot cross buns to NHS staff at Horton General Hospital for Easter

A Chipping Norton baker made and donated 50 hot cross buns to the NHS workers at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

Mark's Cotswold Bakery, an artisan bakery business in Chipping Norton, lost 60 per cent of its sales when the pubs and cafes were shut down from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Woodgate, the owner of Mark's Cotswold Bakery, thought he would have to close the business and let his staff go.

Then a few of his regular customers who normally buy bread through The Tea Set café in Chipping Norton asked if he could deliver bread to their village.

Mark Woodgate, owner of Mark's Cotswold Bakery, with a tray of freshly baked hot crossbuns in South Newington ready to deliver to the Horton.

Now he's delivering to several local villages including Duns Tew, Great Tew, Wiggington, Swerford and South Newington. There's one central drop off point to keep it safe, and the bakery follows extra safety precautions.

Mark's known for his sourdough and chia seed loaf, which won silver prize in the World Bread Awards, but he made a special batch of hot cross buns for his villager customers.

Elizabeth Wheeldon from the village, South Newington, liked the hot cross buns so much she asked Mark if she could buy 50 to give to Horton Hospital staff as a thank you Easter present.

A safe drop off point was arranged through a senior nurse at the hospital.

Mark and his wife Sharn jumped at the chance to bake and insisted on donating them.

Then Bertie Matthews, who runs the flour mill at Shipton under Wychwood (near Chipping Norton) heard about it and insisted on donating all the Matthews Cotswold Flour to the baker.

Mark said: "We're really pleased to do something for the NHS. The community has rallied round for our business and we're really pleased to be able to give something back.

"When Elizabeth asked us to bake hot cross buns for staff at the Horton we jumped at the chance. Local flour, local baking, lots of love!"