Cruse welcomes Bake Off’s Chigs as an Ambassador

We’re delighted to announce that 2021 Great British Bake Off Finalist, Chigs Parmar, has become our newest Ambassador.

December 2, 2022

Chigs has chosen to support Cruse because grief is a cause close to his heart. He lost his uncle to suicide when he was just 12. It hit the whole family hard and it was the first time he had seen his father cry. Tragically just nine months later at a normal Sunday breakfast time, his father collapsed, and by the time the ambulance arrived he had died of a heart attack.

After the trauma of witnessing this, Chigs had to cope with other big changes, moving in with his auntie, grandparents and cousins, and going back to school, where some kids sadly used his experiences to taunt him.

He wasn’t able to cope with such significant losses at such a young age, and buried his grief.

“I kept as busy as I could whilst returning back to school and would do anything to not let my thoughts think about it… When I did, I felt a mix of emotions including anger, which then led me to feel guilty at myself so I just kept really busy, all of the time, if anyone mentioned my Dad I would shut down.”

Grief catches up many years later

Chigs’ grief finally caught up with him – twenty five years later. He sought help and for the first time spoke about his grief and his memories of his Dad.

Through therapy he learned to work through a tsunami of emotion and reconnect with happy memories – such as how his Dad would meet with friends every weekend and take Chigs along, and they would teach him to play snooker. If he could now talk to his 12-year-old-self, he would tell him to talk about how he felt, and share those memories as much as possible.

Helping others to get the support they need

Now Chigs has joined us to help others get the support they desperately need.

“If you don’t grieve it will eventually come and bite you in the ass… Use your grief to fuel you to do better and make your life count. It was important to me to be a part of a charity that I fully relate to, to get the message out there that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I want people to know it’s important to go on your own grief journey, and then talk when you are ready. That’s why I am proud and excited to be joining Cruse as an Ambassador – they allow you to explore your grief in your own time, in your own way.”

Chigs has lived his life saying yes to everything, including the Great British Bake Off. He reached the final in 2021, after a love for baking developed in lockdown just a year before.

We’re thrilled that that Chigs will be taking part in a new challenge this year, to raise money to help us support more bereaved people who are struggling with grief. Chigs will be climbing Kilimanjaro. Chigs will be training over the next nine months in preparation for his climb and will be asking people to donate and support him along his journey. Find out more about Chigs climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

We are delighted to welcome Chigs as a new Ambassador for Cruse. His personal story of loss is a very sad reminder that grief can affect anyone at any age. At Cruse, we know just how important is it for people to come forward and get support when they are struggling, no matter when their loved one died – and is our hope that with Chigs’ help, we will be able to reach more people who need that support

Steven Wibberley, Cruse Chief executive

Young Chigs and his dad
Young Chigs and his dad