The Leeds man’s tragic ‘year from hell’ that inspired his donut-baking mission

A Leeds donut maker is on a mission to battle mental health issues after losing his father and friend in a short time.

Matt Madeley was originally a painter by trade, working alongside his father. As Covid-19 prevailed across the country, her beloved father endured a long battle with the virus before sadly passing away in January 2021 at the age of 50.

Unable to work without his sidekick, Matt said “he couldn’t go on without him” at work and decided to try something new. He and his partner Molly Brywater love to cook together and the confinement has sharpened their passion.

Read more: Girlfriend’s Heartbreaking Tribute to ‘Incredible’ Father-of-Four Who Killed Himself

The couple took the plunge and opened their own artisan bakery called The Donut Company in December. Four months later, the business “continues to grow because the donuts aren’t like anywhere else – they’re bespoke,” Matt said.

After mourning his father and pouring his energy into the new business, and happily watching it grow day by day, Matt then received the shocking news that a friend of his had committed suicide. Matt’s sister Amy Madeley’s ‘happy and positive’ partner and Dewsbury’s father Wayne Allert tragically committed suicide at the age of 38.



Wayne Allert and his girlfriend Amy Madeley

His partner Amy Madeley said the father-of-four suffered from depression, but she didn’t see the signs of it. She said: “Wayne was so loved by so many people. He was on the outside a positive, happy person who seemed to be fighting no demons.

“Wayne was so depressed and I didn’t see the signs. I told him he was my world and I would get him through anything and he just couldn’t ask for help.”

The couple “lived in each other’s pockets”, and he also became close with his brother Matt. Matt said he always admired their close bond and the way Wayne raised thousands of pounds for various charities throughout his life.



Wayne Allert's partner Amy said the father-of-four loves being
Wayne Allert’s partner Amy said the father-of-four loves being ‘silly’

Before he died, Matt said his late friend told him he wished he had more support for his mental health. Today, the bakery is on a mission to continue its legacy and help as many mentally ill people as possible.

Matt said: “Wayne has done tons for the charity cycling of mountaineering, biking, and we are doing our best to spread it to raise awareness of what is starting to become a huge problem. I also suffered with my mental health after losing my father.”

With the help of girlfriend Molly and sister Ellie, the three decided to create a colorful donut box for £10 each and donate the proceeds to Leeds mental health charity MINT (Men In Need Together). They deliver the donuts in and around Leeds, including Wakefield, and orders can be collected, ordered through the app or delivered for a cost of £2.



Matt and his girlfriend Molly cook day and night to raise awareness and funds for those suffering from mental health issues
Matt and his girlfriend Molly cook day and night to raise awareness and funds for those suffering from mental health issues

“We’ve had so many people interested – it’s not about showing the products, it’s about raising awareness. We worked from 6 in the morning until night to get people to deliver because it’s about helping people.”

The donuts in the charity box are all green, and one even bears the symbolic green ribbon – which stands for international mental health awareness. Donuts include:

  • A chocolate covered donut with Oreo, chocolate buttercream and a Quality Street green triangle
  • A vanilla covered donut with a bow of sanity frosting finished with a drizzle of green frosting
  • A donut covered in green vanilla frosting with sugar love heart pieces
  • A donut covered in milk chocolate icing half-covered with crushed Aero mint pieces with a swirl of vanilla buttercream, topped with mint Aero balls and finished with a drizzle of milk chocolate


The Donut Company, launched four months ago, is running a fundraiser to help raise money for Leeds men's mental health charity MINT after the owners' relatives died and left them in poor health mental
The Donut Company, launched four months ago, is running a fundraiser to help raise money for Leeds men’s mental health charity MINT after the owners’ relatives died and left them in poor health mental

Matt added: “We came up with the idea for the box because every week MINT has a group session in Morley where people get together in trouble. We shared it online and people started telling us that they too had suffered from poor mental health and needed someone to talk to.

“MINT is currently running a great project and we would appreciate anyone who can support us in this. The boxes are really special to us and were created to raise awareness.”

Fundraising is open until the end of April, and those wishing to purchase a box can do so. here.


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Edward L. Robinett