Debbie Galton is Social Enterprise Development Manager of the C2C Charitable Trust which runs the The Good Loaf Community Interest Company – a community bakery project that will operate as a social enterprise and will aim to provide employment and training opportunities to female ex-offenders. The Good Loaf Community Interest Company recently received a National Lottery funding of £386,487. It is hoped that the project will have a significant impact, bringing about a reduction in re-offending rates and improving the lives of local vulnerable women.
“…It will be the first artisan bakery in the town and will sell quality bread products to local businesses and local people, creating a sustainable future for our work with ex-offenders…”
This Big Lottery Fund grant will enable us to launch The Good Loaf CIC, an innovative bakery social enterprise that will provide training and employment opportunities to female ex-offenders in Northampton.
Artisan bakery: Volunteers learning under the watchful eye of a Master Baker
It will be the first artisan bakery in the town and will sell quality bread products to local businesses and local people, creating a sustainable future for our work with ex-offenders and providing new jobs and around 25 voluntary roles for people in the local community. Beneficiaries and project volunteers will learn under the watchful eye of a Master Baker, with bakery products being sold to the local community and wholesale to local businesses.
The Good Loaf community bakery will produce ‘Real Bread’ as defined by The Real Bread Campaign: “Real Bread is that made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives.” This means that the basic ingredients for plain Real Bread are:
Other natural ingredients such as nuts, seeds, cheese, milk or herbs may be added for flavoured breads, provided they contain no artificial additives. Our Real Bread will not involve the use of any processing aids, artificial additives (which includes most flour ‘improvers’, dough conditioners and preservatives) or chemical leavening (e.g. baking powder).
Supporting 100 vulnerable women each year
The bakery will support up to 100 vulnerable women each year and the new skills and experience they gain whilst on placement will help to reduce re-offending rates and increase employability. We are very excited to start working on the launch, which would not have been possible without this Reaching Communities grant.
The bakery will provide a safe environment for women leaving prison or serving community sentences to gain the skills needed to integrate back into the community whilst gaining practical work experience.
Our aims are to:
- Reduce re-offending
- Provide training, skills and qualifications
- Improve access to employment
- Provide a safe transition from prison to the outside world
- Remove barriers from participating in society
- Increase confidence and self-esteem
- Provide a sense of community
Flexible and creative, holistic approach sustaining positive change
Many offenders will have additional complex needs in addition to the stigma of being an offender. This project offers a flexible and creative, holistic approach giving each woman the best possible chance of engaging and sustaining positive change by looking at the following key areas of need: accommodation, education, employment and training, health (physical and mental), drugs and alcohol, finance, debt and benefits, children and families, attitudes, thinking and behaviour, domestic abuse and sex working, as well as increasing self-esteem and resilience.
Encouraging community cohesion and reducing the stigma experiences ex-offenders
By encouraging community cohesion, the hope is to see a reduction in the stigma experienced by ex-offenders. The project will also link to Northampton Food Bank and other organisations to deliver free courses such as cooking on a budget and family nutrition to local disadvantaged women.
I will be climbing Kilimanjaro as a sponsored event for C2C and I’d be extremely grateful for any sponsorship towards this epic achievement!