Freedom Bakery is not just all fun and bread. There is a more serious aspect to our organisation as well. We are a social enterprise aimed at reducing reoffending through employment.
We feel really strongly (and if our faith wasn’t enough it is actually proven by research carried out by the Wise Group) that employment is one of the best ways to keep people with convictions out of custodial estates!
Here is a quick overview of some of the statistics related to our aim:
- Reoffending in Britain costs the taxpayer £15billion a year
- At HMP Barlinnie (Scotland’s largest prison) only 3% of those released are progressing to employment.
- If a person with a conviction can keep sustainable employment for 2 years, the likelihood for him or her to reoffend is diminished by 90%.
- For every person with a conviction who could stay in employment for a period of 5 years would save the Scottish taxpayer £940, 000 per individual.
This is why we do this. It’s about giving people a chance, people who on the whole have come from very deprived areas. One last statistic: 50% of people in Barlinnie come from the same 155 of the 1, 222 local government wards in Scotland.
But it’s not just about giving people a chance – to us it just seems common sense. It costs a ton of money to keep putting the same people in custodial estates over and over again so why would we not try and help those same people stay out of them? Freedom Bakery is about providing experience and opportunities to people with conviction for employment. It also is about social cohesion and breaking down the stigma related to prisoners.
Matt Fountain’s inspiration from this came from San Patrignano, a bakery in Italy. This is a home for young people that have lost their way. It aims to rehabilitate people through education, tailored to the individual but with a strong emphasis on community.
We have also since come across the great work that the ladies at Luminary Bakery in East London are doing! They are a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities to women to further their futures. If you would like to contribute to Luminary Bakery then clicking the link above will take you to their website where you can find out more about their crowd funding campaign!
We have some very exciting news of our own coming up in the next week so keep your eye on here or sign up here to stay in touch via e-mail!