As you’ll know, we’ve had a donation button on our online ordering page for a while now. From mid August to the end of October we raised £980, meaning so far this year we’ve raised nearly £5,000. Which is fantastic given we never tried anything like this before. We’d like to build on it.The new business plan isn’t just about earning money. As a workers co-operative we are guided by the Co-operative Values and Principles which include “concern for the community”, looking beyond our doors and seeing how we can help the society that supports us. We’re also always been called a community bakery and were already keen to explore and develop what that might mean.
We want to build connections beyond our customers and peers, with the intention of bringing baking and cookery skills to a wider range of people who might not be able to afford, or even consider, our classes. To this end we’re going to support a new charity every quarter, passing on your donations to help with their work during the pandemic and drawing attention to them in-store and online. Then when we’re able to do so, we will look to working with them more practically.
Our first charity, which we’ll be supporting through to the end of the year, is Anawim, the Birmingham centre for women in need of help based in Balsall Heath. Incidences of domestic abuse rose dramatically under lockdown and Covid-19 has impacted disadvantaged members of society the most, from mental health to food poverty. Anawim are one of many organisations working at the front line in trying circumstances and we’re proud to be helping them into the winter months.
We are looking for charities and organisations to support from January with an emphasis on those making a local impact on people’s lives who need help during the pandemic. If you would like to suggest, or work for, a potential good fit, please get in touch.
Alongside this we’re continuing give fresh bread to organisations combatting food poverty. Every week we do a special bake for the Big Feed Project who are providing free meals to anyone in need across Birmingham. And over the Autumn we’ve regularly given our unsold bread to the B30 Food Bank and Incredible Surplus (the new name for the Real Junk Food Project) and are on call for the Solidarity Kitchen when required. Should other orgs or schools require bread over the winter we feel we should be able to meet the demand.