SociABLE Sunday's

SociABLE Sunday’s: The Bread Maker

The second SociABLE Sunday’s series post features the Bread Maker Aberdeen as I interview Karen (from The Bread Maker and Space2b) as a fantastic example of a project promoting opportunities for those with disabilities. 

Sociable Sunday - The Bread Maker Aberdeen
They provide opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and I personally think they do an amazing job! I have been lucky enough to meet some of the staff and the apprentices which they support so I have heard wonderful things about the project. You can find out about this fantastic project below:

Please tell us about The Bread Maker? 

The Bread Maker is an emerging social firm in Aberdeen: a commercially focused enterprise producing high quality breads and confectionery. Their purpose is to provide meaningful employment, training, educational opportunities and social activities to adults with learning disabilities who are excluded in mainstream society.

The Bread Maker offers 24 adults with learning disabilities (Apprentices) work experience within a dedicated bakery and welcoming coffee house. The development program ensures that everyone has the opportunity to maximise their own potential to become a fully active member of society valued for their abilities, skills and experience.

The project is run by the charity -Aberdeen Day Project.

What are the main activities that The Bread Maker offers?

On the job training is the main thing that occurs at the Bread Maker. All Apprentices carry out tasks in the coffee shop or bakery – learning new skills.

In the coffee shop this includes: serving customers, making hot drinks, preparing sandwiches/ salad/ soup, clearing tables, washing dishes and product placement.
In the bakery this includes: food preparation- peeling/chopping vegetables, making soup, quiches, pizza, measuring and weighing ingredients, slicing & bagging bread, moulding bread products and cleaning. It is a very busy place with lots going on… and lots being made!

Activities & outings are also an important part of the Bread Maker. We try to be involved in a variety of interests that suit the varied group we have. In the past we have been part of the following: yoga sessions, Zumba sessions, boat trip, walking tour, theatre outing, cinema outing, bowling and art exhibition.

 Eligibility (who is the project for?)

The Bread Maker is a learning disability charity, focusing on the development of the Apprentices, particularly in the areas of learning new skills, developing self esteem and confidence. Referrals are usually done through the social work department but we do have Apprentices who fund themselves.

Sociable Sunday - The Bread Maker Aberdeen

How important is it that projects like this exist?

“I believe that the Bread Maker is a very important part of the Aberdeen society. We had a social return on investment report carried out on the impact and effectiveness of the Bread Maker training scheme. The result of this was that we gave £4.50 added value for every £1 of investment (from local authorities).” – Karen Bain

One apprentice was quoted saying:

“We are given adult responsibility. It makes me feel good about myself… We need more organisations like the Bread Maker.”

The opportunities provided by the Bread Maker to adults with learning disabilities can offer the following benefits:

  • Increased self-esteem
  • Empowerment
  • Reduced isolation
  • Increased social life
  • Achieving qualifications

“All the work that is carried out at the Bread maker is vital in the improvement of all the apprentices lives…” – Social work Student

I think it’s so important to celebrate projects like this that provide fantastic opportunities for people who otherwise could be at risk of social exclusion. If you would like to find out more about The Bread Maker, have a look at their website here. Their cafe is open in Aberdeen everyday from 8:30am – 4pm.

2 thoughts on “SociABLE Sunday’s: The Bread Maker”

  1. I haven’t been to The Bread Maker for years but remember going there and my Mum getting the most amazing freshly baked bread. It is such a fantastic scheme in helping people get into a workplace environment when they would likely be overlooked somewhere else and improving their life in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

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