Help Raise Some Dough for Charity Bakehouse
St Sidwell’s Community Centre, an independent Exeter charity dedicated to inclusion, has launched a crowdfunder to help relocate and expand its community Bakehouse and Cookery School. Thanks to support from Princesshay and The Crown Estate, they have secured the use of 178/179 Sidwell Street, and are fundraising to transform it from a dusty, neglected retail unit into a welcoming community hub.
The Bakehouse and Cookery School are part of St Sidwell’s Community Centre which runs a volunteer and work-experience programme, a much-loved community café, a city-centre vegetable garden, meeting room hire, free ESOL classes and lots more. The Sidwell Street Bakehouse and Cookery School were set up thanks to a grant from Power To Change in 2019 to increase the number of training, volunteering and employment opportunities available at St Sidwell’s, while baking nutritious and affordable sourdough to create positive impacts on health and wellbeing in the city. Now, both initiatives have outgrown their current space in the busy Community Centre, especially with social distancing requirements.
“We’re asking for public support to help fund our relocation and expansion into new premises so we can create new volunteering, work-experience and job opportunities. By breathing new life into a disused retail unit and creating another vibrant community space we can play a part in Exeter’s recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID, in improving Sidwell Street for everyone and attracting new visitors.” said Dave Wright, Centre Manager.
The move will create COVID safe operational space for the Bakehouse and Cookery School, in particular making more space for training and volunteering placements. There will be room for lots more public cookery classes, too – including the popular sourdough baking course as well as courses inspired by cuisines from around the world.
“What sets The Sidwell Street Bakehouse apart is the story behind our sourdough. Our products aren’t just tasty and nutritious – every time you buy a loaf you’re contributing to people learning new skills.” said Iona Collins, Project Manager.
The charity is asking for public support to raise the remaining dough needed to complete essential practical work including new electrics and plumbing, installing an accessible loo, and relocating their industrial bread ovens. £8,000 has already been raised, including a generous contribution from The Crown Estate.
“We’re so grateful to have received such generous support towards the relocation so far. Now we’re asking for help to raise the final £5,000 to transform the empty premises into a welcoming community space” continued Iona Collins.
There are a variety of ways to support the project: by donating directly to the Crowdfunder (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thesidwellstreetbakehouse), through a range of special fundraising activities or even giving your time and skills to transform the space. To find out more please visit: https://stsidwells.org.uk/oldhalfords