The Good Loaf is an artisan Bakery set in the heart of the boot and shoe quarter of Northampton which provides employment and training opportunities for vulnerable ladies who are striving to break the cycle of poverty, unemployment or offending.
They are offered the chance to complete a 6 week program with us where they secure 3 accredited certificates, work experience, a reference and on going volunteering opportunities. We employ ladies that complete the program or work hard in supporting them to find paid work. We are passionate about improving the employment chances of disadvantaged people across Northampton.
All participants have full access to our on site women's centre which provides support around substance misuse, domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, parenting, debt and benefits as well as mental health.
Our team is made up of paid staff, volunteers and course participants who all work together, united in passion to produce the finest bread in Northamptonshire whilst improving the lives of those who have not had an easy time.
Of the ladies we have worked with:
- 94% feel as if they are more part of the community and empowered to access employment and further training
- 85% feel less like to re-offend
- 78% feel less isolated after the course
- 78% feel more able to cope with stressful situations
- 50% felt able to deal with their issues of debt, mental health & substance misuse
- 15% gained paid employment
- 10% stayed on to become peer mentors for new participants
We have been operational for almost 3 years and are very proud to have been awarded The National Howard League Award for helping women to keep out of the criminal justice system by providing alternative, proportionate, effective and targeted interventions which reduce the risk of re-offending. The award celebrates best practice in diversionary work and champions services in the community that challenge and change people for the better!
In addition we have:
- Created 16 new jobs through operating our community cafe, wholesale bakery and market stalls
- Trained over 100 vulnerable women per year through our training program whilst providing support in addressing issues which can lead to poverty
- Recruited and trained over 60 community volunteers who work alongside our participants on placement in our bakery
- Launched a youth program for at risk youth (ages 12 to 17)
- Won the Local Food Hero Award
- Won the High Sheriff Award for Peer Mentoring
- Won the Best Community Business Award for Northamptonshire
We love what we have achieved but know that there is more to do. Please help us be more than just a great cafe!