Burnham-On-Sea artist Felicity Franks from Felicity Franks Portraits is donating a pet portrait to the winner of ‘The Pawfect Virtual Bake Off’, which aims to raise funds towards the treatment of Long Covid.

The event will be supporting the Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) towards medical research for chronic complex diseases with initial focus on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Long COVID.

Rebecca Handler from the Open Medicine Foundation explains about the medical research and where the donations will be going: “Early on in the pandemic, Open Medicine Foundation realised that a percentage of those who do not recover from COVID-19 may end up with ME/CFS.”

“We’re now leading a large-scale international study following the potential conversion of Long-COVID to ME / CFS; a chronic, life-altering disease. We know one thing to be true: If we don’t do the research now, millions will be left behind.”

Bake4MECFS is asking pet owners/animal lovers to donate £4 via their website at www.bake4mecfs.com to enter, then bake something animal themed, encouraging entries to be as creative as possible.

Entries are submitted by posting a photo on social media and tagging the charity (@bake4mecfs on Instagram) or emailing them directly bake4me.social@gmail.comwith extra brownie points if their pet features in the photo of their creation! All levels and ages are welcome and will be judged accordingly.

Bake4MECFS are asking bakers to help spread the word and make a difference to this great cause by also nominating four friends to join in with them. 

Burnham’s Felicity Franks adds: “If you use social media then it’s easy to tag four friends in your post. If you don’t use social media, why not start an email chain with your friends to see who can make the most beautiful creation?”

“Maybe set each other a budget or a list of ingredients and have your own mini bake off? Or if you feel comfortable doing so you could have a socially distanced coffee morning and see/try each other’s creations in the garden and declare your own winner.”

“You can make this as fun as you want to! Just remember to email all your photographs to bake4me.social@gmail.com to participate and donate via the Bake4ME/CFS website.”

Entry to the bake off will close at the end of May, when a winner or winners, depending on the level of entries, will be chosen by the celebrity judges – History Vikings actors Jennie Jacques, Linus Roache and their pets, along with YouTube Dog Star Milo Bennett.

Felicity will then be creating a custom pastel pet portrait for the winner! 

When asked about the bake-off, Felicity added: “I was approached by Bake4MECFS as this is a pet themed competition, so a portrait of the winner’s pet seemed like the perfect prize!”

“I’m incredibly happy to help out this great cause, which needs all the more support at the moment after a year of COVID-19.”

“I’m very excited to see the entries and look forward to making someone smile with their prize! Please do enter, or help spread the word on social media as this is a great bake off, which should be a lot of fun and helps out a very worthy cause which doesn’t get a lot of publicity.”

Felicity launched Felicity Franks Portraits in September 2020 from a studio at her home in Burnham-On-Sea and specialises in pet and people portraits in pastels and charcoals.

Actress & OMF Ambassador Jennie Jacques adds: “When artist Felicity Franks said YES to support the cause I was overwhelmed by the generosity and talent; Artists Kitty Sharp and Chloe Bruce are also gifting their skills.”

“Being a Labrador owner, I particularly love Felicity Franks ‘pet portrait’ of the Black Lab Max! Stunning! My Vikings costar Linus Roache and I can’t wait to “virtually taste” ya bakes with our two Pooches on the Judging Panel too!” 

OMF’s Communications Specialist, Rebecca Handler, adds: “Efforts such as Bake4MECFS, truly encourage us. Not only is Jennie Jacques raising funds to accelerate this research, but she is creating a sense of community, inspiring advocacy, and spreading hope. That is so important.”

If you’d like to find out more about the The Pawfect Virtual Bake Off visit https://bake4mecfs.com or visit www.felicityfranksportraits.co.uk to find out more about local artist Felicity Franks.  

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