A LOCKDOWN baker has rallied to Marcus Rashford's calls and baked hundreds of pies to help feed hungry children this half term.

Great-great-grandmother Flo Osborne, 89, has been making pies for Harwich residents since April - and sometimes bakes as many as 20 a day.

Flo wakes up at the crack of dawn to start baking in her tiny kitchen in Dovercourt where she can only bake two or three pies in one go.

But the selfless pensioner, who has five great-great-grandchildren, says she loves to help people - and called footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign a "lovely idea".


Flo said: "I saw it on the news and I thought, that's lovely.

"I have been baking pies throughout lockdown to help vulnerable people in the community, and I love doing it.

"But I thought, I would love to help the little ones, too. I've even been thinking about baking miniature pies for the children.

"Some people say I'm mad, but I just tell them that I love to help other people. If I can help them, I will."

Flo, who pays for all her own ingredients for the pies, says that her most popular pie is her cherry pie.

She also does not follow any recipe, and does not weigh any of her ingredients out - having learnt to bake simply from watching her own mother.

Flo's batch baking started six months ago when she was approached by firefighter Les Nicoll for help with his community campaign, North Essex Support Team (NEST).

Les, 69, set up the support group at the start of lockdown to help look out for the elderly and vulnerable around Harwich, who were unable to leave their homes due to Covid-19.

After setting up a hot food service to deliver meals to those who needed it, Les put out an appeal on Facebook for local chefs to help prepare the food.

And Flo's son, Graham Osborne, 58, told Les that his mum could make a "mean cherry pie".

Les said: "We love Flo. She's an absolute dream, she's amazing.

"We have lots of people who send us cheesecakes or cupcakes to help us out with our food deliveries - but none of them are 89. She's definitely our oldest baker.

"We probably get about 20 pies from Flo every fortnight, and each of them make about 16 servings."

And he added that she is helping them with extra pies this week during school half-term, as they support extra struggling families who are not getting free school meals for their children.

Les said: "We have been approached by social workers who have let us know which families are really struggling during the half-term week.

"So we're doing a separate hot menu especially for those families this week, where we'll be delivering portions of spaghetti bolognese out to them.

"And without a doubt they'll also be getting a slice of Flo's pie with custard. Everybody we deliver food to gets a slice of Flo's pie."