Last week was a real snapshot of what the Bakehouse is all about. On Tuesday morning I ran a workshop for people wanting to learn about breads made with olive oil. We baked some great fougasse and focaccia, and enjoyed pizza for lunch. Sitting and eating with people is such a powerful experience. With food in their hands, conversations are had, experiences shared. During the afternoon I met with one of our super volunteers to chat about plans for the future and growing our team. I love how others are so enthusiastic and committed to the project.
Wednesday morning saw the Bakehouse open its doors to the children from the Lion Care School. It’s a little local school hidden away in Poets’ Corner which offers a program of education for children with complex social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties, and who are outside mainstream schooling. I worked with a small group making breadsticks and flatbreads. The pride and excitement they showed as their breads came out of the oven was uplifting.
Wednesday afternoons are dough prep for the Thursday bake, and we’re lucky to have Zac joining us on a volunteer placement from Team Domenica. They support young adults with learning difficulties in getting into employment. It’s a great project, and Zac’s going to be working with us for the next few months gaining experience of baking bread.
Our volunteer team baked throughout Thursday, Friday and Saturday, producing amazing bread. Not only that, but we chatted, laughed, and made connections.
For a long while we’ve looked at the Bakehouse’s impact on wellbeing in response to the NEF’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing. This week we’ve connected with a new group within our community. We’ve been active, shaping kilos of dough into loaves, buns and bagels. We’ve been able to give children the chance to bake. We’ve taken notice of the loaves as they come out of the oven, children delighting in the crackles of the loaf. And finally we’ve learnt (or maybe been reminded) how baking bread can help nourish a community.