Over the last few weeks, lots of work has been taking place behind the scenes; to run refresher training for our Facilitators to ensure that we are in as safe a position as possible to reopen to the public and make bread together once again!
Last June, in anticipation of reopening (how optimistic we were), the main room was set out in a completely different way to ensure social distancing with a limit of 12 people in attendance at one time. Then further lockdowns occured, and we waited for more positive news.
With the arrival of the vaccine and more positive news in May, it was decided to survey our facilitators about their views concerning returning to bake at SWE. Following the survey, ably collated by Josie (our VV)Facilitators were invited to attend in small groups to bake bread together.This has helped us to assess a new way of working. The feedback from our regular facilitators has been positive. All were glad to be back baking together in "3D" rather than on Zoom.
As we are trying to work in a safer way, we have also been trialling baking soda bread, which only takes an hour to bake. Chris (our OPP), Josie (our Vincentian Volunteer) along with Lorraine (our Administrator and Pastoral Assistant) baked soda bread and then took it out to the homeless of Liverpool a few weeks ago. It was much appreciated by the 10 homeless people that we met that afternoon. As well as taking out bread we held short conversations with those we met (at a social distance, with masks worn).
As you can imagine, then we have conducted a rigorous Risk Assessment for all these activities, which has been presented and agreed by our Trustees.
Josie and Lorraine have also met at SWE to make up some more bags for the homeless.
During the Third Lockdown, Andrew took the bags that we made up before Christmas to the Whitechapel distribution centre, so that they could be delivered to people in hostels. They were much appreciated.
We continued to distribute bags to the homeless throughout 2021. On 23rd December, 2021 we went out into the city and gave out 33 bags, which were much appreciated.