Schoolgirl Saara Ali devoted much of lockdown honing her baking skills and selling her delicious treats for charity.

Among the causes nine-year-old Saara catered for was Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Through her Instagram page @saaras.snack.shack, which she set up a year ago to sell her indulgent goodies, Saara raised £724 for the charity, which it is now spending on an order of 500 wraps or patient treatment gowns.

The polycotton gowns are for patients undergoing radiotherapy at Rosemere Cancer Centre, Lancashire and South Cumbria’s regional specialist cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

It means patients can be given their own gown for the duration of their radiotherapy treatment, which typically lasts for up to six weeks when administered daily Monday to Friday.

A patient audit of the gowns’ style was carried out on a previous consignment, also funded by Rosemere Cancer Foundation, and received almost 100% positive feedback.

Linda O’Shea, the centre’s Principal Therapeutic Radiographer, who asked Rosemere Cancer Foundation for more gowns, said: “Comments from patients in terms of sizing and dignity, as well as staff ease of access to treatment areas, was very positive.

“In the past, there have been issues with gowns supplied via the hospital laundry room – gowns being lost in transit to radiotherapy so limiting availability, gowns not being the right size or covering adequately, and gowns being creased. The cleaning and storage process can cause creasing but patients have, at times, not believed gowns to be fresh for their use.

Linda added: “We are expecting patient referral numbers for radiotherapy to increase due to the impact of Covid-19 on diagnostic and surgical services. By being able to give patients their own gown, which at the end of treatment is recycled back in to the system for use by other departments, we are not only supporting patients by making them more comfortable, we may also be improving efficiency on the treatment machines.”

Saara’s proud mum Farzana, who is head of Religious Education at Moor Park High School and Sixth Form, Preston, said: “Saara has really enjoyed working with the Rosemere Cancer Foundation team on this project.

“The charity is close to our hearts as we have family members, who have been treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, but it has been good for Saara to learn where her donation is being spent and the positive impact it will have on so many patients.”

Saara, a member of the 10th Fulwood Scouts and big sister to Rumaysah (six) and Hanna (three), has also used her baking to raise funds for Save the Children.

Gowns will be given to approximately 70 new patients a week at their treatment planning appointment. The total cost of the gowns is £1,625 with the shortfall being met by a donation from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre and at another eight local hospital cancer units across the two counties.