05:22PM, Monday 16 May 2022
A Maidenhead children's hospice service has announced that an award-winning chocolatier and pastry chef has become a new patron for the charity.
Mark Tilling is most notable for winning the UK Chocolate Masters competition from 2006 to 2008, and he also came 12th in 2007 and 7th in 2009 at the finals of the World Chocolate Masters.
In 2016 his team took part and won the title of 'Bake Off Crème de la Crème' in an eight-part series on BBC Two to find Britain's Best Team of Pastry Chefs.
Mark, who lives in Winchester, has been a dedicated supporter and champion of the charity for more than six years and also organises chocolate workshops for children supported by the hospice.
He also created a chocolate masterpiece for Alexander Devine in 2019 when he took part in Channel 4’s Extreme Chocolate Makers and was featured in four episodes.
He was announced as a new patron at the charity's Heaven Sent Ball black-tie fundraiser on Friday in Windsor, which raised £40,000 for Alexander Devine.
CEO and co-founder Fiona Devine was delighted to reveal to guests that Mark had agreed to become a patron of the charity last week.
“Mark’s passion and commitment to our charity has been evident since we first met him at the Windsor Royal Horticultural Show in 2017," she said.
"I know how much he advocates and understands the real need for the vital work that we do and over the years has been such an incredible and special friend to us.
"We are very honoured that Mark agreed to become a patron and look forward to continuing our wonderful friendship. Like all our patrons, Mark embodies our charity’s values and is a true champion of our cause.”
Mark added: “I am extremely honoured to become a patron and to work with and support all the amazing work they do.
"Having spent some time with the children, their siblings and the staff, I can see just how important the hospice is for families across Berkshire and surrounding counties."
The charity now has ten patrons including John Barley, owner of Nirvana Spa, Sir Ian Macfdyen, former constable and governor of Windsor Castle, and Mark Beard, chairman of Beard Construction.
Its founder patron is veteran journalist and broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, who made a surprise appearance at the Heaven Sent Ball.
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).