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Baking for Wellbeing

by Mark Ahier in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 23rd March 2021 we successfully raised £7,270 with 278 supporters in 35 days

The project will run new Baking for Wellbeing courses bringing people together to combat loneliness and isolation while learning a new skill

by Mark Ahier in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

With extra money we will be able to expand the baking classes to reach more groups to allow more people to experience the joy of baking. We will be able to refit the kitchen and replace the old oven we currently have. We can start plans to see if we can take the baking classes out to other settings 


Help us to combat isolation and build confidence through Baking for Wellbeing

1613378586_tempimagerpsw5d.jpgBaking for Wellbeing is a new project building on the work that KindaKafe has done over the last 4 years. We will be running baking sessions for all abilities from complete novices to the more experienced to bake together in a fun and inclusive Covid Secure environment.  We will use this to build and strengthen the KindaKafe community as we come out of lockdown and to help build peoples confidence while being creative and learning a new skill. The participants will have the opportunity to share what they have baked with family and friends and also to share with the wider KindaKafe Community. 

KindaKafe are a community hub that offers Community Support Group facilities, events and Volunteer Opportunities with a focus on tackling loneliness and isolation

Visit KindaKafe's website

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Sadly due to Covid the venue was closed for much of 2020 but that has given the KindaKafe team time to refresh and come up with new plans for when we are able to reopen. We have maintained contact with the community groups online and are about to launch a community led monthly magazine called Keepsake. 

The Baking for Wellbeing project will give existing and new groups an opportunity to try out baking, to learn a new skill and build confidence in a fun social setting.  As well as tasting their own creations and sharing with family and friends we intend to sell the baked goods to other KindaKafe members and visitors via the Honesty Bar to help cover ongoing costs. 

Why this project is important to me

1613283833_img_5422.jpgI'm Mark and I'm leading the Baking for Wellbeing project. I live in Norfolk with my wife Manda, 3 children, Maddie, Lucas and Seth and my dog Luna. I've experienced anxiety and depression at times during my adult life. I've had lots of support and learned lots about myself and what I need to do to get well and to stay well. Baking played a big part in my recovery and it is an activity I turn to when I feel stressed. At my lowest I lost all confidence so following the instructions in a clear recipe with a list of ingredients was a safe first step. As my confidence grew I found it helped me to relax and switch off from other things. It was lovely to be able to share what I had baked with family and friends who had supported me.  It also showed me that my mind was not fixed. If I could learn a new skill and feel proud about it then I could change how I felt about myself and that has really made a difference to my mental health and resilience.

1613295125_img_5169.jpgThe other thing I have learnt is that it is OK if it goes wrong. It will usually still taste good even if it doesn't look great especially if you have made it yourself. Just don't expect your children to agree with you! Knowing it is ok to get it wrong has given me the confidence to push myself and try new things in baking and in life in general and I have surprised myself about what I can achieve.

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How will it work?

1613285478_tempimagehzrjy8.jpgI've not had any formal training in baking but I know from experience and talking to others that it is something that anyone can learn and enjoy.  With the help of my daughter Maddie I've created detailed recipes that I hope a complete novice can follow. These include pictures at each stage and explanations of things like Bain Marie and the difference between a 'hpd tsp' and a 'Tbsp'. The sessions we will run at KindaKafe will be an opportunity to bake in a social environment rather than being a formal baking course. I'll be on hand to help but I expect the participants will be helping each other too.

Until Covid restrictions allow us to open fully we plan to run online classes which will be a good test of the recipes. If restrictions extend longer than anticipated we will look to widen this including sending out packs with recipe cards and ingredients and running group baking sessions via zoom. 

What we need

1613302365_tempimagedgqfke.jpgThe money raised from this campaign will be used to buy baking equipment necessary to run the sessions. At the start, the Covid Social Distancing restrictions mean we will only be able to have 5 in the class at a time and all will need their own set of equipment but as restrictions ease we can increase the numbers and people will be able to share equipment so we will already be set up to grow.  

Equipment ranges from measuring spoons, scales and rolling pins to cake tins and muffin trays, up to food mixers and portable hotplates. 

A £5 donation would allow us to buy a set of wooden spoons and cookie cutters 

A £10 donation would allow us to buy a baking tray and spatulas 

A £25 donation would allow us to buy scales, mixing bowls, sieves and timers

We will also use the money to buy ingredients for the sessions.

We also need more expensive items such as food mixers to ensure everyone can participate, portable induction hobs and portable work stations to allow for social distancing as the kitchen is tiny. 

If we meet our stretch target we will look to expand what we are doing and also refit the kitchen and upgrade the oven.  

As well as financial donations we are reaching out to businesses that may be able to help us with equipment or ingredients.  We would love this to be a full community project supported by as many people and organisations as possible. You never know there may be a slice of cake in it for you! Certainly a warm feeling knowing you have made a big difference. Please get in touch if you think you can help. I'd love to have a chat about the project. 

About KindaKafe 

Here is some detail on the work KindaKafe does and plans for 2021 from Tom, General Manager of KindaKafe and Director of  Pop Up Enterprises CIC.

1613286368_tempimageyejrgt.jpgPop Up Enterprises CIC is a social enterprise that runs projects that help to build strong and resilient communities and support young people and adults to realise their full potential.
Since 2017 we have been contracted by the Missing Kind charity to oversee the ongoing management and development of the charity’s KindaKafe.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, KindaKafe operated as a community cafe which focused on building community and reducing loneliness and social isolation in Norwich. Our venue had a thriving programme of weekly community groups and activities which brought people of all ages and backgrounds together and helped them form new support networks and friendships.
Today, our social mission remains the same but to help us ‘build back better’ after the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure everyone we support can not only survive in this new world but thrive. We are relaunching KindaKafe as a community hub available for use by registered members.

Much of what everyone has come to love and expect from KindaKafe will remain. So you can always look forward to a warm welcome, a friendly smile, a cracking cuppa and so much more.

We’ll be launching our new membership scheme as soon as we’re allowed to reopen. In the meantime, we’re expanding our range of community projects which offer ‘at home support’ and enable people within our community to keep in touch and support each other through this difficult time.

KindaKafe is a member of the Norwich Together alliance, launched by Aviva, and a partner in the Better Together Norfolk service which are committed to tackling loneliness through sustainable long term solutions.

In 2019 KindaKafe saw:

  • 350+ Hours of free or subsidised meeting room hire given to community groups and social causes 
  • 300+ People attended community groups and events 
  • 950+ free hot drinks given to those in need
  • 23+ volunteers and work experience placements supported to gain confidence and work skills 
  • 15+ new community groups and activities launched to combat loneliness and isolation

KindaKafe is an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for people to sit alone or to make friends and join in with activities. It supports people from all backgrounds including: 

  • Individuals with wellbeing and mental health issues
  • Individuals with physical disabilities or learning difficulties
  • Individuals with long term health conditions
  • Long term unemployed
  • Individuals who have lived or are living in a care setting
  • Carers
  • Individuals who have experienced bereavement
  • Individuals on Low incomes
  • Individuals with Low self esteem/confidence

The outcomes KindaKafe achieve can be seen in the smiling faces at the venue and online. 

The outcomes we hope to achieve from this project are: 

  • Participants having reduced feelings of loneliness and social isolation
  • Participants saying that they have formed meaningful connections, friendships and support networks
  • Participants experiencing improved wellbeing
  • Participants reporting increased sense of community
  • Participants developing increased soft skills (confidence, self esteem etc.)
  • Participants progressing to further positive activities, training or volunteering (within or outside of our service)

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Donate £10 and we will email you two of the Baking for Wellbeing recipe cards. Suitable for Novices. This is not Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Donate £25 and we will email you a full set of Baking for Wellbeing recipe cards. Complete these and could even be on your way to applying for the next series of GBBO.

£50 or more

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£50 Reward

Donate £50 and we will send you a full set of laminated recipe cards and a selection box of home baked goodies. We'll contact you to arrange delivery and so you can let us know about any dietary needs.

£100 or more

0 of 12 claimed

£100 Reward

Donate £100 and we will invite you to KindaKafe in Norwich to see what we have done with the funding and you can participate in a baking class. Dates to be arranged once Covid restrictions are eased

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