Bake the Difference helping personal development

The Bake the Difference programme at Friends House is now in its second month.  The programme participants have already made significant progress.

Since the programme started in September, participants have been studying hard and learning new skills. Baked goods produced on the course are regularly sold in the Café and Restaurant at Friends House. Some round cakes have also been served for event catering. But the biggest steps have been in personal development.

A slice of Bakewell tart, made on the Bake the Difference programme

Mauro Calheiros, Development Chef at Friends House, has been working closely with the programme participants. He said:

“Bake the Difference has already produced positive results for those on the course. Probation officers working with participants have told us that they have seen a marked improvement during their assessments. In some cases, participants’ mediations have been reduced.

“There have been some difficulties, but we are working to overcome them. Outside of the kitchen I am a Church minister, which has taught me how to listen and understand others. Through talking and patience, we are building open and trusting relationships. I am confident that Bake the Difference will continue to benefit those on the programme – and produce more good bakes!”

Two images - on the left a loaf of bread made by Bake the Difference programme participants, on the right male hands kneading dough

The Bake the Difference programme partners Friends House with the London Pathways Partnership. Together we are providing training and guidance for those with a diagnosis of personality disorder and a history of offending and/or antisocial behaviour. It is one of the ways we follow the Sustainable Development Guidelines created by the UN: by providing inclusive and quality education. People on the project are also given support to help them integrate into the community.

A pile of washing up in a kitchen sink

A recent evaluation showed that the progress made by participants on the Bake the Difference programme is more substantial than other social service programmes. Those taking part have also said that they are very satisfied with the course. They have enjoyed the lessons and are pleased with their new skills.

Over the next few weeks, participants will be shown more complex baking skills. They will be learning about different compositions in desserts and how to think through creating thematic desserts.

We shall be blogging regularly throughout the Bake the Difference programme. Keep up to date with the progress by following us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn. You can also visit the Café and Restaurant to try the delicious bakes for yourself.