STARS including TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton, reality TV star Lucy Watson, vegan blogger Deliciously Ella and bestselling author Jane Green are donating cake recipes to help a Sussex charity save orangutans from extinction.

Uckfield-based International Animal Rescue has recruited the cake-baking celebrities to support its fundraising campaign Cakes for Apes, which aims to get people baking for their friends, family and colleagues between April 23 and 30.

The celebrities hope to make helping the apes a piece of cake by each donating a special recipe ahead of the initiative to help people get started.

Fearne Cotton has shared the recipe for banana bread from her cookbook COOK EAT LOVE. “IAR does fantastic work rescuing orangutans and other suffering animals,” she says. “I hope lots of people will use my recipe to get baking and raise vital funds for their life-saving work.”   

Joining Fearne in supporting the event are Made in Chelsea star Lucy Watson, who last September launched her first cookbook Feed Me Vegan, which was named Best Vegan Cookbook by animal Rights Organisation PETA in their 2017 Vegan Food Awards. The model has donated her vegan chocolate fudge cake recipe from the book for Cakes for Apes.

Vegan blogger Deliciously Ella, aka Ella Mills, has donated her raspberry chocolate chunk cookies, and model and actress Lucy Pinder has also donated her quick & easy lemon drizzle cake.

From the US, Cakes for Apes is being promoted by London-born bestselling author Jane Green, whose 19 novels include Falling: A Love Story and Summer Secrets. The writer, who graduated from the International Culinary Institute of New York and is an avid cook, has donated her recipe for lemon and almond tart.

She says, “IAR is truly the last and only hope for orangutans in West Borneo, so it’s time to get baking and show your support!”

IAR, the “last remaining hope for critically endangered orangutans in West Borneo”, rescues and rehabilitates baby orangutans that have been snatched from their mothers and sold as pets, as well as adults that have spent years in captivity, chained or locked up in tiny cages.

Its Human-Orangutan Conflict Team helps wild orang-utans left stranded when their forest home is destroyed and relocates them into safe areas of protected forest. Any animals that can’t fend for themselves are permanently homed at its rescue centre.

Among the orangutans the charity has rescued are its first rescue JoJo, who had spent 11 years chained up over a filthy open sewer, and Budi, who was kept in a tiny chicken cage. His body was swollen and he would cry out in pain when he was touched. Five-month-old Gito was left to die in a filthy cardboard box and has been nursed back to health, and Amy was chained up in a tiny crate where she was crouched on a hard wooden floor. Jambu, one of the many victims of devastating forest fires in 2015, was found starving in a plantation, with 13 airgun pellets lodged in his body. He has been released back into the wild after being cared for by IAR.

IAR’s community fundraiser Phily Kennington says, “We rely entirely on public donations to fund our work rescuing and caring for orangutans and other suffering animals – and we are constantly in awe of the amazing things people do to support us.

“We’ve created Cakes for Apes as an opportunity for everyone to get involved. After all, who doesn’t love cake? So those of us who aren’t keen on baking can do our bit by making a donation in exchange for some cake – or by buying some cakes to sell to friends or in our workplace. We hope this will be a really enjoyable event for people the world over and that it will help raise awareness as well as funds for our vital work.”

Alan Knight, IAR CEO, comments, “While the threats facing orangutan populations are deadly serious, there’s no reason why efforts to support our work to save them shouldn’t involve a large dollop of fun. We’re so grateful to everyone who helps us raise awareness and funds– and with the orangutan now listed as Critically Endangered, we need their help more than ever if we are to save the species from extinction. Our teams in Indonesia do incredible work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orangutans back into the wild – but we all know that none of this work would be possible without our fantastic fundraisers.”

The charity, which has committed itself to protecting the orangutan’s natural habitat, is urging participants to make their fundraising as environmentally friendly as possible, using locally sourced, natural, sustainable and fair trade ingredients in their cakes. It says that £25 raised could provide enrichment for a rescued orangutan, £50 could feed a rescued orangutan for a month, £100 could provide urgent medical supplies for a sick or injured orangutan, £200 could provide a full health screening for a rescued orangutan and £500 could help protect precious orangutan habitat from destruction.

For a free fundraising pack containing the celebrity recipes and the chance to buy a limited edition ‘Ape-ron’ and to sign up to Cakes for Apes, phone 01825 767688, email fundraising@internationalanimalrescue.org or visit cakes4apes.org.

Above: Lucy Watson

Main picture, top: Fearne Cotton

Below: Deliciously Ella 

Above: Jane Green

Below: the celebrity cakes:

Above: Fearne Cotton’s banana bread

Below: Lucy Watson’s vegan chocolate fudge cake

Above: Deliciously Ella’s raspberry chocolate chunk cookies

Below: Jane Green’s lemon and almond tart

Above: JoJo the rescued orangutan

Below: Budi

Above: Gito

Below: Amy

Above: Jambu