A third branch of the Good Loaf is to open in time for Easter in the heart of Northampton town centre, at All Saints Church.
The Good Loaf is a social enterprise - with a bakery in Overstone Road and in Kettering - which provides a work programme and job opportunities for women wanting to break the cycle of unemployment, offending and poverty.
Following a successful funding bid to the Ministry of Justice, The Good Loaf has now been able to take on ownership of the All Saints Bistro – which is being transferred by owner Tony Ansell – in order to increase employment opportunities for vulnerable women.
Suzy Van Rooyen, CEO of The Good Loaf, said: “We have already benefited from funding from the Ministry of Justice to expand our work in the county and to have another successful bid is a vote of confidence in the services we provide, and the work we are doing with our partners to drive through improvements to the criminal justice system that help women, their families, and the wider community.”
This has provided an additional four paid posts for women who have completed the work programme at the Good Loaf, which is delivered at their training centre in The Mounts.
The funding bid to the Ministry of Justice Female Offender Community Investment Fund was supported by the National Probation Service and Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
The town centre base, to be called ‘Good Loaf All Saints’, will also accommodate crisis services for women, particularly focusing on mental health.
The service will aim to reduce the number of women entering the criminal justice system and break the cycle of offending.
Father Oliver Coss, the rector of All Saints Church, said: “This new venture marks a very exciting moment for All Saints’ Bistro, and for All Saints’ Church.
"We’re delighted that The Good Loaf, which is making Northampton a centre for excellent work among ex-offenders, has chosen to invest in the precincts of the town’s iconic civic church.”