We caught up with Andy Smith, Director of The Feel Good Bakery, one of our charity partners.
The Feel Good Bakery makes and delivers sandwiches for office lunches, conferences, meetings and events, freshly prepared that day.
The sandwiches are made in South West London by young people who have been caught up in negative behaviour. The Feel Good Bakery provides support, employment, training and coaching to people who are turning their backs on gang life and crime.
In turn, the proceeds from the bakery go towards working with grassroots organisations in Romania, Kenya and South Africa which are helping children living in extreme poverty. Every sandwich you buy from the Feel Good Bakery, translates into a meal for a child in need.
Since our last meeting, what’s new with The Feel Good Bakery?
This year we have employed seven young people, five of whom are ex-offenders.
Four of our people have moved on into other employment. Our aim is to take people on, give them their first job and then help move them on to the next job.
The feeding project in Nairobi has put ten kids in school which is a great bonus.
Proudest moment in the past year?
Seeing the young people we employed moving on into education or work.
One of our employees was a very talented artist but had low self-confidence. Since working with us, he has been accepted to do a fine art degree at university. That was a proud moment.
Another guy had a dream of being an electrician. He came out (of prison) and worked for the feel good bakery for nine months. Now he’s got a job as an apprentice electrician and is attending college one day a week.
The whole thing has a great feeling about it!
Any future projects in the pipeline?
Yes, we’ve organised ‘The Feel Good Festival’ on Sunday 23rd August which is about bringing the local community together in Roehampton (South West London) and to raise awareness of the projects we are running. We are expecting a couple of thousand people to turn up to watch live music, rappers and dancers and to have a feel-good day on the estate.
What are the main challenges you face?
Our main challenge at the moment is getting regular sales. One day we would have an order for 250 sandwiches, but the next day, only 50 are ordered. If we could find a couple of organisations that could commit to ordering 50 sandwiches a day, that would help us immensely.
How can people help?
They could become an ambassador of ‘The Feel Good Bakery’ by promoting our sandwiches in their work places, in one of two ways:
Small Cafes Supplier: Small cafes could help by using us to supply freshly made sandwiches into their premises, particularly in South West London.
Monthly office lunches: We would like to encourage businesses to commit to buying lunch for their employees through us once a month. We want them to buy in to ‘The Feel Good Bakery’ and partner with us to support the local community.
Every sandwich is a meal for a child in Kenya!
Can anyone help by offering their time? If so, how?
Anyone who wants to can volunteer to help make sandwiches and work alongside our team at the Feel Good Bakery in Roehampton.