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Bread & Beyond

Brook Food Dream Team and South East Tiptree World Bread Awards Heroes with Brook Food 2021

Prior Court bakery team crowned Bread Heroes by the Tiptree World Bread Awards with Brook Food

In addition, they were the recipients of the ‘Brook Food Dream Team Award’.

The Bread & Beyond team - Dylan Needham (Artisan Bakery Manager), Laura Parker (Job Coach) and Scott Thompson (Night Baker) - is changing the lives of young people with complex autism by providing them with the opportunities to develop the skills needed to build careers as bakers. With only 32% of autistic adults in the UK in paid employment, despite over 80% stating a wish to work, this is a vital enterprise.

The Bread & Beyond bakery was purpose built at Prior’s Court school. Baking really suits the strength and skills of people with autism; it is highly process-driven, practical and delivers an end product, which is rewarding and motivating. Bread & Beyond’s young bakers practise in weekly sessions and share their bakes with other young people and staff in their homes.

The aim of the programme is that the young people will go on to secure work experience placements in professional bakery environments, or that they will assist Dylan and Scott, who operate Bread & Beyond as a commercial artisan bakery in addition to delivering training. The bakery’s products, which range from sourdoughs to sweet treats, are supplied to Prior Court school’s on-site caterer and sold in local shops and cafes.

"Judging the Brook Food Dream Team award was an honour. Reading the entries was humbling, and in the case of our winner completely inspiring; with Bread & Beyond they practise ‘teamwork’ in its truest form,” says judge Ann Wells, Commercial Director, Brook Food. “The concept is derived from seeking the best in individuals and bringing these together as a group to achieve something that’s progressive, wholesome and most importantly sustainable in terms of the bakery and the team members - they were a very obvious winner and their notion is admirable."

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