Better Health helps offer a better life
The Centre for Better Health is a Hackney-based mental health charity which does invaluable work in the community. One aspect of the support they offer, through the Better Health Bakery, is to help people get back in to work. We caught up with the bakery to find out more about how they make a difference to the Haggerston community.
Can you tell us about the Better Health Bakery?
Better Health Bakery is a social enterprise bakery based in Haggerston, East London. We are part of The Centre for Better Health, a long standing Hackney-based mental health charity which aims to support wellbeing and recovery from mental ill-health. The bakery offers trainee placements to adults who have been distanced from employment due to mental ill-health.
How did it come to be set up?
The bakery came to fruition six years ago as part of the Charity’s social mission. We were already based in Haggerston in a building that the charity owned, and which had been used for similar employment based initiatives. The bakery now shares the building with Better Health Bikes and Better Health Products. All are social enterprises and each one offers trainee placements to adults to support wellbeing and recovery from mental ill-health.
What do the team love most about time at the bakery?
Working with the trainees! Thirty-one trainees enrolled on our programme in 2018/19, with 18 completing their placements and successfully moving on to other opportunities like further training and education (6) or volunteering (7) and employment (5). The aims of the trainee programmes are to improve job skills, motivation, routine, confidence and social skills and all of the trainees that completed the course reported an improvement in one or more of those skills, which is fantastic. It’s why we love doing what we do.
What’s your most popular items?
The bakery’s main focus is on producing artisanal sourdough bread, however we have a small pastry offering and our Tahini and Honey Buns have garnered a cult like status amongst regulars! They’re sold out by 9am most days!
Can you tell us more about Friday’s sourdough pizzas?
We wanted to introduce something to the Bakery café menu that included the use of our sourdough, and at the time Friday tended to be the day that local office workers would venture out for a bite to eat at lunchtime. Hence Pizza Fridays! There are two types of Pizza made every Friday, both vegetarian (often one will be a vegan option). They’re available by the slice from midday until they sell out!
What’s your favourite things about being based in Haggerston?
Haggerston is a tiny corner of Hackney, just by the canal. It’s an interesting area, with a good mix of residential and business-based neighbourhoods, so there’s loads going on – great bars, restaurants and its own dedicated Overground Station which provides handy access to the rest of London.