A bakery run by a Cambridge graduate is educating ex-cons new expertise, together with offering bread to a few of Scotland’s fanciest eating places.
Freedom Bakery, in Glasgow’s East Finish, offers well-known eateries together with Ubiquitous Chip with bread rolls.
The social enterprise was arrange by Matt Fountain who grew up watching his stepfather wrestle to ascertain a life after being launched from jail in Kent—and who he had visited in jail, aged 12, and begged by no means to go once more.
Matt enrolled in college programs in Manchester, studied Historical past of Artwork in London, spent a 12 months in Glasgow, and attended Cambridge.
He returned to Glasgow and had the possibility to do a PhD at Oxford, however opted to not.
As an alternative he determined to speculate his time and vitality into serving to folks, together with convicted murderers, reintegrate into society.
In 2014, he was granted permission to make use of a small kitchen in HMP Low Moss, Glasgow.
Matt deliberate to make and promote bread and on the similar time put these prisoners by a acknowledged qualification for the baking trade, SVQ Degree 2 in Craft Baking.
By 2017 he was working with prisoners in infamous Barlinnie, and pairing them with certified bakers with a purpose to assist them acquire a qualification.
Trainee bakers have a broad number of backgrounds, and Matt’s staff are given coaching in self-defence on account of working with prisoners.
There are presently 16 staff and a 3rd have been recruited from jails.
Matt stated: “It’s a mix of long run and brief time period sentences together with drugs-related offences, fraud, and I’m afraid to say manslaughter and homicide.”
Matt felt misplaced in Cambridge and failed to search out enjoyment in it. “By the top of it I used to be fairly worn out and due to my background, I felt like I used to be dwelling a little bit of a faux life.
After struggling to get a job after graduating from Cambridge, he felt at a unfastened finish. “I believed if I had an Oxbridge diploma it will assist me in life,” he stated. “I didn’t actually know what to do.
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“I got here to the conclusion that I needs to be doing one thing helpful and I set upon this concept to lift cash for the charity Shelter by biking across the UK.”
That led to the thought of beginning Freedom Bakery.
Matt stated: “The one ultimate was to verify it was actually good so it will go away a long-lasting impression on the individual consuming it, so they’d perceive the place it got here from and possibly assume extra positively about who made that bread.
“It can be crucial our bread tastes nice and for us to be actually profitable, our folks should be cared for and paid pretty and if these issues mix it means the bread we make is de facto doing good.”
He described prisons as “a microcosm of humanity with each good and evil.”
Matt stated: “For some, the chances have been stacked towards them from the start, so that they by no means had an opportunity. A person contacted us who has been in establishments from childhood.
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“He’s fully institutionalized however he needs to get out and might think about a life he can have that will probably be wholesome and rewarding so that’s what we’re about.”
In October the bakery will transfer to a bigger premises.
And it noticed its gross sales enhance by 12 per cent final 12 months, regardless of lockdowns.
Matt added: “I actually really feel that it is very important assist folks, however on the finish of the day they need to wish to assist themselves. When it comes to the assistance we will supply, that goes fairly far with us.”
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