Bake it Better for Starship

New Zealanders are being asked to get behind our national children’s hospital by taking part in Bake It Better for Starship, a month of bake sales in July.

Caitlin McFadden will be baking her signature blueberry muffins to raise money for Starship, after hospital staff saved her baby sister Eloise’s life – not once, but three times.

Eloise was only three weeks old when she was rushed to Starship and her parents Nadia and Leith were told she had a complex heart condition. Eloise had her first open heart surgery at just eight weeks old, another at eight months, and her third when she was 18 months old. A bubbly, confident little girl, she has had extended stays at Starship, and has spent more than six months of her young life at the hospital.

Little Eloise calls on NZ to Bake It Better for Starship

Eloise and her seven-year-old sister Caitlin, a keen baker, are the ambassadors of Bake It Better for Starship. This heart-warming initiative is a way for the country to unite and help raise vital funds to provide world class healthcare while embracing the community spirit of bake sales – whether they bake or buy.

“There is as little as two degrees of separation from each of us and a child in need – from a family member, a neighbour, a colleague or a dear friend. When they are going through a tough time, we all want to help. Bake It Better for Starship is the perfect way for Kiwi families to help not just one child but every child needing specialist Starship treatment,” Aisha Daji Punga, Chief Executive, Starship Foundation, says.

“People can come together and help others in times of need. The funds will go towards providing the best possible care for patients, and critical areas including new equipment, training and research.”

Home away from home

Starship provides family-centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific, managing around 130,000 patient visits each year, including Eloise, who considers Starship a second home.

“We are proud to be involved and give back to Starship, they have done so much for us. Without the expert care we’ve received at Starship, Eloise would not be here,” Nadia says. “Starship is a home away from home, a place where she feels very comfortable. Despite having to spend so much time in hospital, Eloise has still been able to thrive.”

Caitlin has shared her favourite mini blueberry muffin recipe (below) one that she makes for her sister, parents and grandparents. She is excited to be part of what is anticipated to be New Zealand’s largest month-long bake sale.


How to get involved

Aisha hopes all New Zealanders will embrace their community spirit and get involved today: “At Starship – every hour of every day, extraordinary stories of bravery, courage, skill, kindness and compassion unfold. Every day someone needs Starship – and today Starship needs you, help us Bake it Better.”

You can get involved by baking sweet, savoury or healthy treats and selling them at your school, workplace, local club or community group. Every bit(e) counts.

Register now at and find out how to donate, get bake sale ideas, recipes and fundraising tools and tips.

For ideas, Kidspot Kitchen has an extensive range of recipes including tasty treats in our Cakes and Baking section.

Starship Foundation

Starship is New Zealand’s national children’s hospital, firmly focused on accelerating world class healthcare for all New Zealand children. There are nearly 135,000 patient visits to Starship Child Health each year including around 1000 outreach clinics where Starship clinicians offer specialist consultation and support all around the country. Starship has New Zealand’s only dedicated PICU and offers 14 complex medical specialist services treating children who come from around New Zealand when the care needed is only available at Starship.


How will you be taking part in Bake it Better for Starship?

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This article was written with information provided by Starship Foundation.


  1. dawnblyth 03/07/2019 at 11:07 pm

    Having had friends who have stayed in Starship with their children, this means a lot to me that there are people out there who are helping others. I didn’t know about the baking for Starship but I think it is a great idea – everyone loves a bake sale and to raise money for something so important to a lot of families is a wonderful thing to do.
    I will look into who is doing this around Christchurch, and if I can I will support it by buying some baking.

  2. Alezandra 02/07/2019 at 10:26 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of Starship and reading this article has opened my eyes to this. And love seeing kids like these joining in and understanding at a young age, the importance of these types of initiatives. It really fosters community service and also caring for others at a young age.

  3. MuddledUpMolly 01/07/2019 at 8:43 pm

    What a great fundraising idea for an invaluable resource in our country. I know a number of children and their families who have relied heavily on the generosity and goodwill of such a wonderful organisation. I hope they raise a lot of money this year and for many years to come.

  4. Bevik1971 01/07/2019 at 4:04 pm

    Awwww lovely 🙂 What an awesome little girl and her wee baby sister going through all of that. My niece was pregnant last year and her wee babe was diagnosed with a rare heart condition in-utero, sadly she passed away a week before she was due 🙁 this is a fantastic initiative, I think I will get my 6 year old daughter involved in this by us doing some baking together and selling to family and friends.

  5. Jen_Wiig 01/07/2019 at 3:00 pm

    What an absolutely wonderful idea! And what an incredibly brave and resislent wee girl.
    Starship are just incredible and such a vital need in our community, though (Thankyou bigman upstairs) we’ve never had the need to use their services before srill always want to help in some way.
    Will deff have a chat to my boys about doing some baking for this very worthy cause and signing up… Love how creative it is not the usual door knocking asking for money routine.

  6. Shorrty4life1 30/06/2019 at 3:09 pm

    What a great idea. All it takes is one person to start a cycle and everyone joins in. I’ve never been to starship hospital but I’ve heard it’s a great place to go get the help you need. I would love to contribute by giving a donation as I don’t think baking would survive being taken by couriers lol 😂.

  7. kymmage 30/06/2019 at 12:39 pm

    What a great initiative. Seems like something that you could easily run through a work morning tea or a school bake sale too. Starship is a well respected and amazing resource and definitely a worthy cause. I’m going to go and take a look at the site and see what I could do.

  8. Mands1980 29/06/2019 at 9:01 pm

    I had not heard of the bake it better for starship but this is a great idea to raise funds to a really great cause as you never know when your family may need a service like this either. I know a few friends who have had family end up in starship and how good they are with children. So they more they can make the better it is for them.

  9. Micht 29/06/2019 at 4:48 pm

    I love what this organization does so much…will have to head over and see what we could do to help on the site…need to mobilize others to do the same…a little goes a long way…

  10. SarahBlair 26/06/2019 at 2:42 pm

    This is such a great initiative!! It’s something that I could really get behind! I think that schools and other organisations could hold bake sales and give the proceeds to Starship as well

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