10 years of making delicious bread

17 November 2020

A cooperative in Chester, which Cheshire West and Chester Council company Vivo Care Choices has been heavily involved with, is celebrating 10 years of bread making.

Over the past decade, Bread Together has made 18,000 loaves of bread at its popular community bread-making sessions and welcomed hundreds of bakers through the doors of the Wesley Church Centre.

The group also runs a growing bread-to-sell business where it makes and sells fresh bread in Chester, operating out of a professional kitchen installed in November 2019 at Vivo’s Canal Street Day Centre. 

All baking activities are currently on hold due to COVID-19, but plans are in place to start baking again and the aim is to sell products to markets around Chester.

Kathleen attends regularly. She said: “I suffer from anxiety and depression but, after baking, my self esteem lifted off the floor. 

“There were other people with difficulties and I thought that, if they can get up and make it out, so can I. I’ve met some people who always put a smile on my face.”

A member of Bread Together for 10 years, John has been baking at home since the sessions have been on hold. He added: “It’s great fun and the best thing is when you see the look on people’s faces after the bread they’ve made comes out of the oven.”

The group has welcomed bakers from all over the UK and the rest of the world, including places as far as China, India, Spain and Poland.
Bread Together works in partnership with Vivo, which provides a range of flexible and responsive support across west Cheshire for people with learning disabilities and autism and older people, including those with dementia. 

Philip Myers-Shone, Deputy Service Manager at Canal Street Day Centre, said: “Bread making provides a unique, all-inclusive sensory experience due to its visual, tactile and aural nature. 

“The smell and taste of the bread is an experience also gratefully shared by others. There's nothing better than the smell of freshly-baked bread drifting through the building.”

Mary Horbury, Baking Facilitator, added: “There's nothing quite like bashing some dough while chatting around a table, sharing spontaneous creativity. 

“For 10 years, the Wesley has provided an accepting, public and equal space for bread making. I love the way people who have gone into town with no plans for making bread discover themselves in the middle of a bread-making session.”

The group has held bread-making sessions at schools and community venues, as well as hosting private workshops for enthusiasts.

Bread Together prides itself on providing an open, inclusive and fun space for people of any age to meet and make bread. Running alongside the community baking sessions, the micro bakery is a learning space where members make top-quality bread to sell. 

For further information about Bread Together, its baking sessions and micro bakery, please email Laura at: microbakery@breadtogether.org.uk or visit: breadtogether.org.uk.

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