We work with people who would otherwise have little or no opportunities in life, using their incarceration as an opportunity to allow the discovery of themselves as confident, valuable members of society as well as confident baking and catering professionals. Graduates attain an SVQ 2 in Craft Bakery, instantly increasing their employability factor with an industry-recognised qualification. Sustainable employment has been shown to decrease reoffending dramatically. For every ex-offender who can stay in employment the Scottish taxpayer is saved £940,000 per individual. We receive no public funding, instead choosing to run as self-sustaining business.
Our current bakery is within HMP Low Moss, is very small and contained in the main prison kitchen complex. We have two full time bakers training and working with our six apprentices 5 days a week from 8am-4pm, and what they are producing is superb. Learning on the job, they are churning out incredibly high quality produce that is delivered direct from the prison to our wholesale and retail customers across Glasgow. The genuine demand for what we produce is evidence of the skills, talents and the value of the people behind the baking, their aspirations and their worth once rehabilitated back into society.
Demand is growing enormously, which is fantasitc. However based solely inside the prison we are beginning to find capacity is limited. Most bakeries can delivery early in the morning, we can only deliver after 12 o’ clock. Most bakeries have a 20 hour working day, we only have 8 hours to play with. Most bakeries are easily visited by customers, we are not. And we want to change all this so that we can grow as a business and our apprentices can grow as bakers and as people. That is where Operation Breakout comes in – we want to expand to fulfil customer demand and in turn allow the whole programme and our people to thrive! We want to take Freedom Bakery to the next step.