Food & Drink Magazine

Cakeyboi Chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day

By Cakeyboi
Cakeyboi chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day, the fund-raising event from Comic Relief is happening on the 24th March. I recently interviewed TV star and singer Carrie Grant to discuss her involvement with this great cause, her home life with husband David Grant and their four children, Eurovision and baking. 
Cakeyboi chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day
Q. Carrie, Red Nose Day is just around the corner. Can you tell me whyit is an important charity for you?
A. Ever since Fame Academy did our Comic Relief version of the show I haveloved being a part of the event. I love that it raises money both here andin Africa for some of those who are struggling the most. My Father is buriedin Sierra Leone so I have a special connection to West Africa and back homehere in the UK our own family have had to access a lot of help with Mental Health Services so I see the need on a daily basis.
Cakeyboi chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day
Q.  You raise awareness for children with special needs and your ownchildren each have learning disabilities including Autism and ADHD. Whatchallenges can this present on a typical day in the Grant household?
A. The only thing about a typical day in our family is that there are never twodays the same! Each child has significant needs so David and I are usuallydesperately running round trying to make sure each child's needs are met,sharing out the work as we go! One child may need an hour's counseling toget out of bed, another may be refusing to dress or eat, another may bebeing extremely violent so we never quite know what we'll get! I love theschool holidays when it's all so much easier and the kids can move at theirown pace. One of our children only attends school for an hour or so, so wehave to make sure we are there for the school runs throughout the day. Thishas meant David and I have to job share. We have at least three health orschool meetings a week so we have to be around for those. Life is full butour children are amazing and magical and so talented in many different ways.
Q.      There is still a lack of awareness surrounding 'invisibledisabilities'. As a parent of children with such disorders have youexperienced discrimination towards your children?
A. I can't even begin to tell you how bad it is for many parents of highfunctioning autistic girls. From GP's not knowing what to look for, toschools who don't believe there's an issue, to diagnostic criteria gearedtowards boys and therefore no diagnosis is given, to CAHMS (Children andAdolescent Mental Health Services) being so overstretched that your childhas to be suicidal before you can access any help. That's a description ofServices. Then you have the judgment from other parents when your childmelts down in the supermarket. I want to put a big sign above my kids' headsreading, "Please don't judge, I'm autistic and today is actually a goodday!" Some parents have a terrible time within their families with relativesblaming parents for their lack of parenting skills. It's hard for parentsand you have to develop a very hard exterior and a warrior spirit!
Cakeyboi chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day
Q.   I'm a sweet-toothed baking blogger and love baking in my spare time.Are baking and cooking activities you do with your children and can these begood therapy?
A. Oh gosh - YES!!!!! My children have a lot of sensory issues, which meansthey hear everything at 10 times the volume of a neuro-typical person, theyare extra sensitive to smell, touch, taste, all of those areas. Theadvantage of this is that they are brilliant at art and baking and thecreative areas. My children can literally spend an hour with their hands ina bowl of watered down cornflour! We make cakes, biscuits, pastry etc. Weeven have 27th Dec set aside as Pie Day each year.
Q.   If you're favorite song were a cake, what would it be?
A. One of my favorite songs is Cameo's "Candy" as our entire family do thedance to it called The Electric Slide. At weddings we've had about 300people doing it in one go! In our family it was started by the Jamaican sidebut each year more of our white relatives learn it and join in! It's adancefloor filler! If it were a cake it would be a Black Forest Gateaux -because it is one of those things that every generation knows, it's down toearth and gives you great memories. i.e. I know my kids will talk about thissong in years to come and laugh in the same way as my generation remember aBlack Forest Gateau.

Q.   I'm a HUGE Eurovision fan. You were part of the group Sweet Dreams,the UK's 1983 entry. Do you have fond memories of taking part in thecontest?
A. I absolutely LOVED doing Eurovision. Representing my country, singing everyday, doing loads of TV, Radio and press - it was a great opportunity. If Ihear the Eurovision theme tune I still get nervous. I thought it had allbeen forgotten but when I did Fame Academy suddenly it all came out again.We came 6th, which at the time was shameful but now is really seen as a hugesuccess!

Cakeyboi chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day

Sweet Dreams - (Carrie on the right)

Q.   You were the head judge in this year's jury for 'Eurovision - YouDecide', helping to select this year's entry Lucie Jones ( a great song!). It mustfeel quite a responsibility.
A. Actually I was Head Judge last year and the jury's favorite lost! LucyJones is great though and David and I loved her in The X Factor. Greatsinger.
Q.   As a busy working mother of 4, do you find time to relax and if so,what do you do to unwind?
A. I love reading, cooking, hanging out with friends and going on holiday. Wego to the Isle of Wight each year and we love it. It's like going back intime. I love creating memories for my kids.
Cakeyboi chats to Carrie Grant for Red Nose Day

Q.   Finally Carrie, charity and raising awareness are things that areclearly important to you. What are your future plans in respect of these?
A. Oh gosh so much. I want the subject of Girls and Autism awareness to beraised, I am campaigning constantly around this subject. I want for allspecial needs to get greater understanding in society. Two of my childrenhave ADHD, one has Aspergers and another has Autism and ADHD.In the healthcare arena I work in I want patients to be able to lead intheir own health. I do a ton of public speaking on this subject and I amPatient Lead for The College of Medicine. I think it empowers the patient and ultimately will help to make our amazing NHS sustainable.A massive thanks to Carrie for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out my next post, coming soon, for a chance to win a Red Nose Day gift bundle.

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