A SPECIALIST training bakery designed to give war veterans new employment skills to help them adapt to civilian life was officially opened by celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager yesterday.
Based next to Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, the facility will not only help veterans develop employable skills within the baking and catering industries, but will also use bread-making as therapy.
The artisan bakery has been set up as a social enterprise and will provide qualifications to equip those suffering from post-traumatic stress or facing homelessness with new career and business development skills.
Ms Shrager said: “I’m passionate when it comes to teaching about food and so it is such an honour to launch an initiative in an environment where artisan baking may not be the first thing people think of when they think of the military. It shows how something as simple but valuable as baking can transform vulnerable lives.”
The bakery is being run by Riverside housing association and is based at its new centre, The Beacon, which provides temporary housing, training and specialist support to ex-servicemen and women who are at risk of homelessness.
It is being run in partnership with Clervaux Trust, which runs a similar artisan bakery in Darlington.
A high-profile campaign to raise funds was launched at Harewood House, near Leeds, with celebrity chef Marco Pierre White last October. The Hesco Bastion Fund, set up by the late Jimi Heselden, also donated substantial funds to establish the bakery.