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Leicester Bread Clubs to Benefit Mental Health

Planet Leicester Bakers is delighted to share news of the first work in the Leicester Bread Clubs initiative, which was featured in edition 3 of Planet Leicester News. Working in partnership with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, these first clubs are funded by Leicester City Council’s ‘Time to Change’ fund, which aims to improve mental health in the city.

Making bread gives time to talk.
Making bread gives time to talk – both activities at the heart of the first             Leicester Bread Clubs 

For more information, including how to volunteer on the project, check out the media release in this post. You can also contact Planet Leicester Bakers via this site, by email or phone, for more details of this exciting new initiative! 



For immediate release: 18 January 2018

Leicester Bread Clubs Launched to

Improve Mental Health in the City


Bread making for the benefit of mental health is coming to Leicester.  Planet Leicester Bakers has secured funding and teamed up with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (who provide community and mental health care) to kick start a new Leicester Bread Clubs initiative in the city. Funded by Leicester City Council’s Time to Change mental health initiative, these first Bread Clubs will train volunteers to bake bread and then use this lovely activity with local people, some of who are supported by mental health services. The aim is to provide a relaxed, informal and safe space to enable people to feel at ease so that they can talk about their feelings.

Hand-making bread has been found by many community bakers to be a positive and relaxing activity. It is even used by some bread trainers in ‘breaditation’ mindfulness workshops.

Rob Melling, Head of Community Development at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, is delighted to introduce bread making as an activity in their mental health services by setting up Leicester Bread Clubs with the help of their volunteers:

“ At the Trust we are always looking for new ways to help people improve their wellbeing – mental and physical. Leicester Bread Clubs will bring to people the opportunity to learn and use a baking skill in a way that helps others.  Spending time in a safe space and a relaxed atmosphere will provide an opportunity for people to talk about how they are feeling. Not only that, our volunteers and those using our mental health services will get to grips with a baking skill they can use with their friends and families. ”

Leicester City Council’s Time to Change campaign is funding Planet Leicester Bakers to train 12 NHS volunteers in basic bread making. At the same time the volunteers will be trained in undertaking conversations with people that encourage them to talk about their feelings. Planet Leicester Bakers will then support the volunteers in their first baking sessions with people who use the NHS Trust’s mental health services. The vision is for the volunteers to continue to use and promote bread making as a therapeutic and supportive activity in the NHS and other community settings into the future.

Michelle Stratford, Founder of Planet Leicester Bakers, explaining the idea behind the unique Leicester Bread Clubs, said:

“ An informal Leicester Bread Club is something people can get going with others in their communities, with friends and families. If they come together with one or more people to do hobbies, sports or other social or health activities together, baking bread is something they can do as well because of the spare time in the bread making process. Walking groups, coffee morning gatherings, book clubs, film groups, online gaming groups – anyone can add bread making to their regular get together!  It’s relaxing and great for de-stressing and is also a lovely way to get thinking about the food we eat and how we can find more time for cooking and enjoying real food. ”

If you would like to be trained as a volunteer on the new Time to Change, Leicester Bread Clubs scheme, please contact



  • Leicester Bread Clubs is a new initiative from Planet Leicester Bakers. Local people are being encouraged to think about how they can use and introduce this ancient baking skill to others, their friends and families, through setting up an informal Leicester Bread Club locally. For more information on Leicester Bread Clubs and the work of Planet Leicester Bakers go to the latest newsletter at
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust: Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) provides community health, mental health and learning disabilities services for the one million people living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We have a budget in excess of £275 million and employ approximately 5,500 staff. For more information visit: Our registered charity is called Raising Health (charity number 1057361). The charity fundraises to support excellent care initiatives, equipment and innovations which go above and beyond core NHS provision to enhance the experience of our patients, service users and staff. See