BAKING is my passion but it is also my THERAPY!
Now I am ready to help others by offering therapeutic baking workshops.
WHAT I AM TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
I have been supporting individuals with learning disabilities, Autism and Asperger's Syndrome since I can remember. Both of my parents are teachers for children with learning disabilities back in Poland, where I come from. I grew up on the grounds of the boarding school where they work. I have spent most of my childhood and teenage years in the company of the children in my parents' care. I have many fond memories of us playing together or just "hanging out" as we all grew older; I was privileged to be part of their gang; many long lasting friendships developed over the years. I think this is when my passion for helping others began. As an adult I have dedicated my education and career to supporting others. Many of the individuals that I have supported in the past or still support now have additional mental health difficulties. However, mainstream therapies such as counselling or CBT are not always appropriate for individuals who are not "nurotypical". I would like to be able to offer baking workshops that could bring on therapeutic benefits and improve individual's well-being.
I, myself, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. Since my diagnosis I have undergone series of CBT therapies as well as eye movement therapy. Those therapies helped me to come to terms with what I have been through. However, individuals who live with mental health conditions, like I do, know that any therapy needs to be complimented with ongoing coping strategies. Baking is my strategy. It makes me feel good. It helps me make sense of the world when my anxiety paints it in dark and disastrous colours. When I bake I create; I create something beautiful that make other people smile...and that smile brightens my dark world.
WHAT OTHERS SAY...
Once I have realised the therapeutic benefits baking had on my mental well-being I wanted to look into the topic further. I have come across plenty of articles, personal testimonies as well as research papers which talked about amplitude of benefits of baking on well-being of members of general population as well as those who have learning disabilities, Autism and Asperger's Syndrome; Hand kneading a dough can release frustration; the weighing of ingredients and repetitive motions can help people feel more in control; decorating a cake can bring on positive feelings; indulging in home made treats can put a smile on ones face; and let's not forget that sharing is caring!Former Great British Bake-off Winner, John Whaite, has been also known to say that baking helps lift his depression, as it is a way of channelling all the negative energy into creating something positive.
I would like to purchase much needed equipment in order to be able to offer therapeutic baking workshops to others. I trust that many individuals would benefit from workshops that channel our senses. But in particular I would like to focus on supporting individuals (children and adults) with learning disabilities, Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Therapeutic baking workshops will offer more than just learning how to bake; they will offer an opportunity for sensory stimulation; they will focus on relaxing aspects of the activity; they will incorporate "adapted/accessible" mindfulness; furthermore they will be an opportunity to socialise and share an experience with others.
#BACK HER BUSINESS
I have been accepted as part of the #BackHerBusiness #SideHustle campaign sponsored by RBS, Ulster and Natwest banking, powered by Crowdfunder.
They will pledge £50 to my project, when I have secured £200 in pledges by 5 or more supporters.
Upon reaching my initial goal of £500 I would like to stretch the goal further. My dream is to own a cafe which could offer employment and/or work experience opportunities to individuals with learning disabilities, Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.This would also allow me to have set venue for the therapeutic baking workshops.
#BackHerBusiness will further pledge £500 when I receive an additional £500 in pledges from further 30 or more supporters (that's on average £16 per supporter). I would also be able to be considered for additional match funding to my stretch goal and part of of £20K additional prize money. This is huge! I can only imagine the difference that could make to others.
LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN!