1 April 2019

This year, the PANDSI Cake Off is taking on the world

| Sophia Brady
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Andrea Wilson with the Big Olive. Photos: Supplied.

Local organisation, PANDSI (Post and Ante Natal Depression Support and Information Inc.) has gained quite a reputation over the past few years. Not only for providing support, education and information for families in the Canberra and ACT region but for their annual fundraiser, Cake Off.

“Cake Off is the brainchild of PANDSI President, Christine Spicer, who imagined a fundraiser where Canberrans baked their favourite cake from the Women’s Weekly Cookbook. The concept caught the whole nation’s attention and Cake Off was an immediate hit with bakers and the general public,” said PANDSI, Chief Executive Officer, Dr Yvonne Luxford.

“Since that first year, amazing bakers have explored the icons of Canberra and Aussie Big Things. The Hyatt has generously provided a wonderful location to display and auction the creations, and many Canberra businesses have sponsored in various ways. Special thanks has to go to the Canberra cake decorating shops who really get behind the event.”

Action Bus 2017.

This year, PANDSI is taking on the world! “Having done Canberra and then Australia, it’s now time to take on the world! The theme for 2019 is ‘World Cultures in Cake’ and we are looking forward to seeing wonderful interpretations of different cultures of the world – all edible! All the cakes will be on display at the Hyatt Hotel on Sunday, 5th of May from 2 pm and available for auction. Everyone is very welcome – tickets will be available in early April,” explained Dr Luxford.

This year they aim to raise $80,000, a big goal, but the demand for their services is even greater, Dr Luxford said.

“2019 is PANDSI’s 30th birthday and the demand for our services is continuing to grow. In just the last five years the number of support groups we run has increased by 52 per cent, we are providing almost 80 per cent more telephone support sessions and we have doubled the amount of childcare we provide. Yet as the birth rate increases in Canberra, so does the number of families who can benefit from our help.”

PANDSI has been growing with the demands of the community since the 1980s, shared Dr Luxford. “Back in the early 80s there were two self-help groups developed in Canberra – one northside and another southside. They met in mothers’ homes and essentially supported one another with the struggles of postnatal depression and anxiety. In 1989 the two groups amalgamated forming this organisation which eventually became known as PANDSI. PANDSI continued to grow and professionalise its services over the years, first becoming accredited as a Mental Health Service in March 2016.”

“From those small beginnings in lounge rooms and kitchens, PANDSI now helps over 360 families every year providing perinatal mental health support to clients from pregnancy until their youngest child reaches two years of age. In addition to a comprehensive Telephone Support Service (supplemented/replaced by email support when needed), PANDSI offers a range of programs tailored to provide mental, emotional and physical benefits to those experiencing perinatal depression and/or anxiety.”

Gabrielle Hardy with Pandsi.

To help PANDSI continue their work, you can:

Purchase a ticket to attend Cake Off on Sunday the 5th of May at Hyatt Hotel Canberra (soon available for purchase via the website).

Bid for a cake at the Cake Off auction, sponsor a cake or sponsor a baker (soon available via the website).

Bake a cake for the Cake Off auction.

Make a direct donation through the website.

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