Last Sunday was the anniversary of our first Stoneham Bakehouse bake; the first time that we got together and baked bread for, and with, the community. A year is a long while, but it seems to have flown by. We’ve baked hundreds of loaves, bagels and buns; and have provided bread for countless members of the community. Another key part has been the work which I’ve done with Hove Junior School, Impact Initiatives Hop 50+, and Happitots Preschool.
In many ways its the most important and satisfying part of Stoneham Bakehouse’s work. I take great pleasure in sharing breadmaking with the wider community; enabling others to benefit from the positive wellbeing effects of working with dough. The other day, whilst working with some children, I had a child eat some bread they’d made. Nothing special perhaps, but for this child it was a real achievement, something of real significance. He has, over the Playdough sessions, become more confident, more willing to try things, and better at working with others. For him, and his teachers and parents, the baking sessions have supported his wellbeing brilliantly; and his (and others’) involvement has helped my wellbeing too. As we get to the end of 2015, and look to 2016, its good for us to be reminded of this core aim of Stoneham Bakehouse.