Kirkside Lodge’s Bakery Project supports local charity Meeting Point

Service users and staff at Kirkside Lodge’s Bakery Project have been supporting a local charity, Meeting Point, by donating left over food every week.

Meeting Point was established in 2003 and aims to serve the needs of refugees and asylum seekers regardless of age, race, religion or legal status. The charity aims to work towards social integration, reduce negative stereotypes and break down barriers in the local community. They rely on donations that go straight to the service users of the charity.

The Bakery Project have formed close ties with Meeting Point, and every Monday service users and staff from the project travel over to Christ Church in Armley to donate food. It is a great opportunity for service users to personally donate to the charity and sit down and chat with the volunteers over a cup of tea. Our service users really enjoy doing this as it gives them a sense of belonging within the community.

“I like going to Church to help Bernard with donations.”Service user, Bakery Project

The Bakery Project was originally set up in 2010 and is run by Bakery Lead Ric and his assistant Ian. Although based at Kirkside Lodge, the project caters to residents from all Cygnet’s residential services in the West Yorkshire region.

The project runs Monday to Friday and is moulded by our service users’ input and focuses on their baking abilities and where they can improve their baking skills. The purpose of the Bakery Project is to help service users learn and improve their independent skills and knowledge. At the same time it gives service users an insight into working in the community and gives them a sense of belonging.

“I like having a cup of tea and biscuits with everyone.”Service user, Bakery Project

The project gives service users basic baking skills which they can improve on and take away to put into practice when they return back to their homes. Residents get paid for working a full day and also have the opportunity to win the weekly ‘Star Baker’ award. This has proved to be very successful and popular.

In addition to the left overs that are donated to Meeting Point the food made at the Bakery Project is distributed across our residential services in the area. Bread, cookies and various other sweet and savoury items are delivered back to their services by each resident for all to enjoy. The Bakery Project also make personalised birthday cakes for all the residents in the West Yorkshire region.

The Bakery Project also made a big impression on Raf Hamaizia, Cygnet’s Expert by Experience Lead, who recently visited Kirkside Lodge:

“This amazing example of co-production and co-delivery really touched me. The most fabulous thing about this bakery is that it welcomes residents from lots of other Cygnet residential homes and the bakery also provides to our other Cygnet services external to Kirkside. Working together, putting smiles on people’s faces and meeting new people from other homes. This is what it was all about for me.”Raf Hamaizia, Expert by Experience Lead

Well done Ric, Ian and all the residents involved in the Bakery Project!

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