Time for news of changes in the business! Various technical changes have happened with the website recently but ongoing site problems mean editing is currently suspended.
So, what will you see when we have the solution and can edit again? A number of changes have taken place over the past few months. Plans for the year have been set aside as COVID-19 has had a serious impact on training and community project opportunities. Also, even before the ‘lock-down’ was introduced in England, the Bread Bike service in St Martin’s Square was suspended by Planet Leicester Bakers because of safety concerns. All public speaking engagements have been cancelled for the rest of the year. No training or community projects are in the diary.
PLEASE NOTE: OFFER ENDED 13 MAY 2020. PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR NEWS OF CURRENT ONLINE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
Over the past few years many people have shared memories of themselves or their mums trying to bake bread during the national crisis that was the 1970’s Bread Strikes.
Turning out a ‘bread brick’ has been the common refrain. Well, with many having bought bread flour of late, maybe for the first time, Planet Leicester Bakers is determined to not see a repeat of this history. Instead, wouldn’t it be great if, after this disaster has passed, we were inspired by our efforts to continue baking our bread for life, shunning the rubbish bread we’ve been eating for years?
So, how can you make sure you Beat the Brick?
If you have a device with Skype on you could get in touch and book a Bread Baking Together session with me in your (and my) kitchen. We can work out what to bake from what is in your cupboard and give it a go. This is ideal for people who are stuck at home because of the pandemic and perhaps would also welcome a bit of company while they bake. So you can be a beginner or more experienced. Either way, let’s get baking together. It’s great for relaxation and reducing anxiety, which in turn will strengthen your immune system. In the meantime, read on for a simple recipe if you want to give it a go now. You can hear me on Ben Jackson’s BBC Radio Leicester show at 10.20am this morning (24th March) talking about the recipe, the Bread Baking Together and the loveliness of making bread at a time of crisis…
As we free-wheel towards Christmas, the Bread Bike initiative has proven a great hit in this momentous anniversary year for Planet Leicester Bakers.
Launched in the summer to mark the business’s fifth year of trading and community activity, the Bread Bike success represents all that is great about this community micro-business. Every fortnight new special bread treats and Surprise Bike Buns are baked in the micro-bakery in Thurmaston. They are then pedaled into Leicester City Centre to St Martin’s Square.
St Martin’s Square is the location for a number of reasons. This includes the ethos of many of the small businesses based there. Fair Trade, environmentally friendly no plastic wares and a fellow Slow Food supporter are natural bedfellows for Planet Leicester Bakers. (Read about the business’s core values here). The support of business staff and owners has made it a wise and heart-warming choice as well. It is great to begin to feel a physical part of Leicester’s wonderful small and micro business community. …
Sharing Bread+ is an exciting new community project from charity group Reaching People in partnership with Planet Leicester Bakers. Using bread to create safe space for debate, the project seeks to challenge stigma and judgement. It will encourage people to come together to find ways to strengthen relations and build togetherness within communities and also between each other.
Bunnies have been the order of the day for Care Home residents in the run up to Easter. Using a lovely French sweet dough from Bath-based baker Richard Bertinet, the residents have shaped balls of dough and dough ropes for outlines. The shape’s structure offers a lovely ‘sharing bread’ for all residents in the homes to enjoy.
Attendees at the Patient Information Forum event last week warmly welcomed the concept of using bread to engage people around health. The event, ‘Reaching and Engaging Hard to Reach Groups in the Provision of Health Information’, was a fascinating day of presentations from health communications professionals. The focus was particularly people and communities that are perhaps easier to ignore and I was delighted to be asked to attend and present with Jenny Hand, CEO of Reaching People.
The funders were delighted with the report as well, feeling that it was ‘incredibly comprehensive’ and ‘a great mix of statistics and stories that captured the impact the project has had for service users’. The media release gives a flavour of the success of the project: …
A service from Planet Leicester Bakers that is increasingly seeing inquiries is that for team building . Recently I was delighted to work with the large Nottingham employer, Capital One, and a team of their data analysts. We spent a rainy day up on the hill in Sneinton, making bread under the watchful sails of Green’s Windmill.
Green’s Windmill is a working windmill charity and have an education kitchen room on-site which is perfect for group bread baking. We were able to support the charity further by using their flour and, not only that, the venue included a tour of the windmill in the price. We made pizza dough and windmill volunteers baked the pizzas for lunch in the garden pizza oven.
It is rare to find bread bakers in teams – which is part of the joy of offering this activity to build togetherness and well-being. It demands supporting each other and team members finding their way through a new and unfamiliar task, negotiating joint decisions. Everyone got to take away a recipe if they wished and left with new knowledge about this much-loved staple food.
” It was a very productive and well-organized event. We received a detailed nicely made plan/information beforehand. On the day, we got the opportunity to team up and learn new baking skills and taste the product made by ourselves. The choice of the venue is really good and special. We got the opportunity to have the pizza baked onsite and have had a nice tour of the historical place.” Capital One’s organiser
The days are very much tailored to the needs of the team so the first step in booking is to get in touch and start to plan. Another team, this time from the NHS, is booked for September. Community venues can be suggested by Planet Leicester Bakers and if you are based in Nottingham, Green’s Windmill would be delighted to host us again!
Planet Leicester Bakers is delighted to have been shortlisted in the Heart of Gold category at this year’s national business Small Awards . This category recognises the contribution the business has and is making to the local Leicester/shire community. It is also a testament to all those who have shown such passion and belief in the business and what it is seeking to achieve over the first few years.
The awards dinner is this Thursday in London. It’ll be a wonderful event and I’m looking forward to seeing fellow fabulous Bread Angel Liz Wilson (aka Ma Baker) who has been shortlisted in the sole trader business category. Keep an eye out on social media for news!
Absolutely thrilled to announce that Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A), our Baking a Difference project partners, have successfully secured the Big Lottery People’s Projects funding. A huge thank you to all who voted, shared and encouraged us along the way.
After two weeks of frenetic social media and postal vote activity we found out last week, with a visit to William House by ITN Central, where the news was unveiled. Fiona Smith, the current L4A CEO, received the notice, with Melissa March who worked with Planet Leicester Bakers to create and deliver the pilot, there with her daughter and new baby – it was a true inter-generational event!
The year long project will pick up and build on the original pilot. More care homes and sheltered housing settings will enjoy the wonders of Baking a Difference and its bread making activities. Not only that, but the project will aim to become sustainable beyond the funding. Volunteers and staff will be trained in delivering bread activities and we will be looking to bring communities outside the residential settings in to spend time with residents and bread.
Planet Leicester Bakers is delighted with the project proposal L4A submitted. It meets our purpose of exploiting the loveliness of bread to bring communities closer together; tackling loneliness and isolation and building bonds and understanding. We can’t wait to start!