Schoolgirl reaches out to her elderly neighbours – with coffee and cake

When nine-year-old Neve Dodds became concerned about older people in her village becoming lonely, she put on her apron and threw them a coffee morning.

The plucky junior baker from Cattistock near Dorchester booked the village hall and enlisted her friends and family to help her cook up a feast of sweet treats.

She also decided to use the coffee morning to raise funds for a local charity and scoured the internet before choosing Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF).

The resulting event attracted dozens of villagers and raised over £606.00.

Neve’s mum Julia Dodds, said: “Neve told us she wanted to do something for the older people in our village because she was worried some of them were lonely and bored at home without seeing anyone.

“She has been baking since she was tiny and completely threw herself into the coffee morning, baking lots of cakes and also collecting prizes for a raffle. We are so proud of her.”

Neve said: “I was nervous in the morning before we opened the hall but I needn’t have worried because my mum and my sister Matilda and I put up posters and lots of people came along.

“I love making cakes and it was nice to see people eating them and chatting and having fun.

“We also had a Knit and Natter and a flower quiz and people gave lots of money when they found out it was helping people who have cancer.”

Dorset Cancer Care Foundation fundraises to provide grants for Dorset residents who are facing financial struggles because of cancer.

Grants can pay for patients’ household bills, accommodation costs, transport to and from hospital and much needed short breaks.

DCCF member Lorraine Kerridge went along to help at the coffee morning and was bowled over by Neve’s efforts.

She said: “She may be only nine but Neve is a super baker and now she’s a champion of the county’s cancer patients too. We are thrilled to have her support for the charity and hope she will inspire other young people in West Dorset to come forward and fundraise for us too.”

Neve is now planning her next community event.


Picture caption: Neve Dodds used her love of baking to bring her community together and raise money for Dorset’s cancer patients

Dorset Cancer Care Foundation would like to hear from other people interested in fundraising to help local people with cancer.

For more information telephone: 07593 890 879 email: or visit:

Media information on this release from: Debbie Granville at Deep South Media on: 07884 657782 email: