Bakery charity helping vulnerable women beyond the breadline recieves £16,000 cash boost

CEO, Suzy Van Rooyen.
CEO, Suzy Van Rooyen.

A bakery charity that has supported more than 300 women to find work and gain a new-found confidence is paying thanks to those who pledged £16,000 to keep their support workers in a job.

Social enterprise, The Good Loaf in Overstone Road, Upper Mounts bakes and delivers hand-made bread to Northampton firms every day as well as providing six-week work programme and job opportunities for vulnerable women, who include ex-offenders, at the on-site cafe.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

As well as on the job experience, the feminist organisation allows the women to complete a food hygiene certificate, bag an accredited qualification and a work reference.

The bakery charity is the trading arm of C2C Social Action - which operates in the same building as The Good Loaf - and supports people facing a variety of different challenges in their lives.

But after their three year grant ceased, The Goof Loaf needed to quickly bridge a six week gap - funded by their Crowdfunding page - after the organisation found out that their new grant has been delayed.

Suzy Van Rooyen, CEO of C2C Social Action said they organisation could only use the Crowdfunding money if they reached their initial target of £7,000... but after their final fundraising push, they managed to bag a huge £16,000 in the last day.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

When asking Suzy what the money will be used for, she said: "The immediate thing is to keep our support workers employed who work with the ladies.

”The cafe and the bakery and wholesale covers the cost of its staff but we do a lot of work behind the scenes offering support holistically, and that money will be to keep that wrap around support going.”

The £7,000 will be used to cover the cost of their support workers salary for two months.

"Its our priority to keep those staff employed especially because they are experienced now and they are trained. We wouldn’t want to lose them for the sake of a funding gap."

In a bid to help the women get their lives back on track, a one-stop- shop women's centre is also on site, with probation, drug and alcohol and domestic abuse workers.

When asking Suzy whether she feared The Good Loaf would not hit its Crowdfunding target she said: "Definitely. It's really scary. It's really scary for the staff. I live in eternal hope and kind of know that we will get through this and everything is going to be okay but we will probably always look back on this and know its been a difficult time but we will get through it.

"But for the people, this is their livelihood. We have 30 staff on our payroll, and it’s really a lot.

“So that’s really unsettling for them and to think that some of those staff are people that struggle with mental health issues at the best of times, this is not what they need to be worrying about their job as well."