What is Give a Hand and Bake?

Give a Hand and Bake is one of our community products. It aims to raise money to help support stroke survivors who face a daily struggle to rebuild their lives and honour those who have lost a loved one to stroke. The money you raise will help thousands of stroke survivors get the rehabilitation they need and the lifelong support they deserve.

When is Give a Hand and Bake?

Give a Hand and Bake runs between 26 October – 01 November 2020.

Who is LoSalt?

This year we are partnering with LoSalt – a low sodium salt alternative - as part of our #HealthierUK initiative. As part of this, they are sponsoring this year’s Give a Hand and Bake. After the anticipated GAHAB supporter questions, you will find a selection of LoSalt supporter questions.

Isn't it unhealthy to be promoting a bake sale?

Give a Hand and Bake is a chance for people to get together with friends, family and/or colleagues. Hosting a bake sale is a great way to do this, and we recommend that anyone taking part enjoys cake in moderation!

We’re also encouraging people to look into low or reduced sugar recipes. These brownies might have fewer calories, but they’re just as tasty. Why not give them a go? 

How can I support Give a Hand and Bake?

There are many ways you can get involved;

  • Don your apron or pop out to the shop and host your own bake sale either at home or in your community. All we ask is that you continue to follow the most up-to-date government advice, and only take part if you feel able to. Remember you can print off the poster in the pack, or send it via email to let everyone know when and where it is.
  • If you cannot hold a bake sale at home, why not see if your office is open and will let you hold one? You can get everyone involved, and it’s a great opportunity for your employer to show their support for World Stroke Day on October 29th – you could even suggest a dress down day for a small donation.
  • Like and share our social media posts on Facebook and Twitter, help spread the message of what we’re doing!
  • If you have children, why not see if their school is getting involved. If they’re not already, you could pass on the information you have to them and put them in touch with us. 

How can I sign up?

Just go online and register or email your contact details to giveahand@stroke.org.uk and we will get in touch to sign you up.

I have never baked before, can I still take part?

Absolutely, it doesn’t matter if you are a baking novice or a star baker, everyone is invited! We have some easy recipes that anyone can follow and or you can even just pop out to the shop and buy something - we won’t tell if you don’t! 

I don’t have internet access – is there a phone number I can call?

You can contact us on 0300 330 0740 to sign up to Give a Hand and Bake.

How will the money be spent?

We provide specialist support, fund critical research and campaign to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives. But, rebuilding lives is a team effort and we couldn’t do it without the courage and determination of the stroke community and the generosity of our amazing supporters.

What if I can’t take part during Give a Hand and Bake week?

Whilst we have a week that we’ll be promoting Give a Hand and Bake, you can host your event on any date that works for you and a hungry group of friends. The main thing is to have fun and help raise funds for stroke survivors so we can help them get the best treatment and lifelong support they deserve.

I’m not keen on baking. Can I do something else?

We would love everyone to do a baking event, however, if baking isn’t your thing, then why not ask someone else to host a Give a Hand and Bake event and you can help gather the troops or buy some cakes to contribute. You could even have a competition to see if people can taste the difference between shop-bought and home-cooked.

But if doing any sort of bake sale isn’t for you, don’t worry! You could ask to do a dress down day at work for a small donation, or host a quiz (for a bit of fun you could have some cake-related questions!) we’d be hugely grateful no matter what support you can give to Give a Hand and Bake – and we’d love to hear about what you’ve done!

I have never fundraised before, is there any support?

Yes, our Welcome pack is full of hints and tips on how to make your event a sweet success. Along with a donation form, collection box you should have everything you need, but if would like more advice, feel free to email us at GiveaHand@stroke.org.uk

Can I get any more materials?

Yes, if you head over to our materials page, we’ve got a wide variety of decorations, games, posters and more that you can print out and use. If you’ve not already received our welcome pack, we can also send you one of those!

Who should I invite?

Why not invite friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues? It’s a great opportunity to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while. If you’re hosting your Give a Hand and Bake event at work, why not invite people you don’t usually have a chance to talk to? It’s a great way to get to know other colleagues and it can be made all that much better with a slice (or two) of cake. All we ask is that you continue to follow the most up-to-date government advice, and only take part if you feel able to.

My pack hasn’t arrived yet. What should I do?

Due to COVID-19, our warehouse is currently unable to send out Welcome packs. Therefore, you will have received a link to your digital Welcome pack on your sign up confirmation page, and in the first email you received from us.

No problem if you can’t find it though, if you let us know your email address we will send you another one across!

Where should I host my event?

The easiest place is in a local community area, the staff room/canteen at work/school, or at home.

Alternatively, you could find somewhere more unusual to entice even more people to come along – we’d love to hear where!

How much should I ask for donations?

It’s completely up to you how much you want to ask for donations. Some people like to just let people give what they want to, other people prefer to put a suggested donation of £1 or £2. You can also plan some extra activities to raise even more. How about guess the number of sweets in a jar? Or we have a random number sweepstake game you can download at stroke.org.uk/bake. And don’t forget to play “crack the egg” which was included in your fundraising pack!

How do I send my donations in?

  • Online, where you can pay in your donations by debit or credit card.
  • By phone: you can call our friendly Supporter Care team on 0300 330 0740 and they can take your donations for you.
  • By post: send your donation in the envelope included in your fundraising pack to:

Give a Hand and Bake, Stroke Association, 1 Sterling Business Park, Salthouse Road, Brackmills, Northampton NN4 7EX (please do not send cash in the post). 

How do I feedback any comments?

We would love to hear how you get on, or any thoughts you have about Give a Hand and Bake. At the end of Give a Hand and Bake, you will receive a link to our survey where you can add your own comments as well as give opinions on the questions we’ve put forward. You can also email us at GiveaHand@strkoke.org.uk with your comments and we will be sure to get back to you.

Why is the Stroke Association partnering with LoSalt?

LoSalt and the Stroke Association share an aim to make more people aware of the factors that can increase the risk of a stroke, one of which is reducing the incidence of high blood pressure to which increased sodium levels is a contributor. We believe a partnership can amplify the message around the importance of healthy eating, including reducing your intake of salt (sodium chloride).

Is it safe for me to use LoSalt?

If you take some types of medication that affect potassium levels, LoSalt and other reduced-sodium salt alternatives may not be suitable for you. Check with your GP for advice. People receiving medication for diabetes, heart or kidney disorders should consult their doctor before using a reduced-sodium salt.

If I have had a stroke, should I use LoSalt?

If you have had a stroke, you may be advised to address any behaviours that could increase your risk of another stroke in the future, including managing your blood pressure.

Because high sodium levels (sourced in the diet primarily as salt) can increase your blood pressure, cutting it out or reducing it from your diet may be an advisable option.

If you take some types of medication that affect potassium levels, LoSalt and other reduced-sodium salt alternatives may not be suitable for you. Check with your GP for advice.

People receiving medication for diabetes, heart or kidney disorders should consult their doctor before using a reduced-sodium salt.

What does salt have to do with stroke?

Sodium is a mineral that is essential to life. It’s regulated by your kidneys and it helps control your body’s fluid balance. It also helps send nerve impulses and affects muscle function.

When there is extra sodium in your bloodstream, it pulls water into your blood vessels, increasing the total amount (volume) of blood inside them. With more blood flowing through your blood vessels, blood pressure increases. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart failure, coronary artery disease and stroke, as well as increasing the risks of chronic kidney disease, peripheral arterial disease and vascular dementia.

As salt is our biggest source of sodium, reducing the amount of salt we eat will reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. WHO recommends a reduction in sodium intake to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease in adults. WHO recommends a reduction to <2g/day sodium (5g/day salt) in adults.

Why are you promoting a salt alternative instead of no salt?

WHO recommends a reduction in sodium intake to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart disease in adults.  WHO recommends a reduction to <2g/day sodium (5g/day salt) in adults.

While it is important to try to consume less salt or cut it from your diet, in order to manage blood pressure, we recognise that this can be a challenge for some people. Lack of labelling can make it difficult to calculate the amount of salt in store-bought or out of home foods (takeaways etc.).  We also understand that some people like the taste of salt and are unable to get used to the taste of food without it. 

We therefore support the individual’s choice to use reduced-sodium alternatives, such as LoSalt in place of regular table, sea or rock salts by way of reducing overall sodium intake. 

If you take some types of medication that affect potassium levels, LoSalt and other reduced-sodium salt alternatives may not be suitable for you. Check with your GP for advice.

People receiving medication for diabetes, heart or kidney disorders should consult their doctor before using a reduced-sodium salt.

So if I switch to LoSalt, does that mean I won’t have a stroke?

No, using LoSalt or other low sodium alternatives will not stop you from having a stroke.

There are a number of factors that can increase an individual’s risk of stroke.  Some are non-modifiable, so factors we can’t change, these include age, gender, family history, previous stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) and some medical conditions such as atrial fibrillation and diabetes. 

Others are modifiable, so within our control to change. These include factors such as being overweight, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle and having high cholesterol or blood pressure.

Because high salt levels can increase your blood pressure, using a low sodium alternative such as LoSalt may help to lower or manage your blood pressure, by reducing the amount of salt you consume.  However, if you are concerned about your risk of stroke, you should speak to your GP in the first instance, who can help you understand your risk and support you to make the changes necessary to reduce it.

My GP has advised me to cut out salt completely, why are you advocating the use of this product?

As a charity, we recommend consuming less salt or eliminating it from your diet, in order to reduce or manage high blood pressure. We support an individual’s choice to use low sodium alternatives, such as LoSalt, as part of this process and only where it is safe to do so. If your GP has advised cutting salt out of your diet, we would recommend following this advice. You can find information that may support you to do this on our website.

What is the public health advice around low sodium products such as LoSalt?

The NHS’s advice on how to adopt a lower salt diet focuses on shopping for lower salt foods, cooking with less salt and avoiding salty foods when eating out.  Its Change4Life campaign focuses on salt reduction through increasing awareness of salt within everyday foods, and tips on replacing salt with other ingredients. 

The NHS does not have a current position on using low sodium products such as LoSalt as an alternative to salt. However, in the NICE guidelines (NG136) looking at diagnosis and management of hypertension in adults, the recommendations around lifestyle interventions for treating and monitoring hypertension states “ to encourage people to keep their dietary sodium intake low, either by reducing or substituting sodium salt, as this can reduce blood pressure.”

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