Collaboration with people affected by homelessness and mental illness

Hopeful World: Alice Williams, Luminary Bakery - London

Hopeful World Luminary Bakery

What is Luminary Bakery all about?

Luminary Bakery is an innovative response to a need we saw for vulnerable women who have had a social and economic disadvantage. We are a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women to build a future for themselves and their families. We provide a safe and professional environment where women can grow holistically – encouraging ambition, restoration and second chances. We use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with practical and transferrable skills for the working world. We offer courses, work experience and paid employment within our bakery, empowering women to build a career and a positive future. By investing in and releasing them to realize their dreams, through training, employment and community, we aim to break the generational cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty, which currently hold these women back from reaching their potential.

Hopeful World Blog Luminary Bakery

Whereabouts are you based and who are you working with?

We currently operate out of a café in Limehouse but are working on opening our own premises in Stoke Newington, Hackney in the next few months! We stock some great cafes included Kahaila on Brick Lane (our mother-ship), Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, TOMs Carnaby Street and are in talks with a very high profile central London store about stocking them soon too! The women we support come from varied backgrounds and we take referrals from any organisation supporting those women – from homesless services, ex-offender organisations to charities who help women who have been trafficked. We train women and support them into work opportunities with businesses – we’re always looking for more work placement positions! And we utilise some interesting pro bono teachers on the courses; people who have expertise in certain areas eg nutrition, patisserie and even extra curricular like yoga classes.

Hopeful World Blog Luminary Bakery Stall

What are you most proud of?

One of our first trainees graduated in March 2015, and went on to take up an apprentice position in the bakery. She is a talented and hardworking woman who has been such a brilliant part of the team, she developed one of our seasonal products which turned out to be one of our best sellers! She also participated in our Enterprise course to think through her business idea and how to get it launched. She’s now working on business plans and branding to launch her business which I have no doubt will be incredibly successful. It has been amazing to see her grow in confidence and start to see her dreams become a reality.

How can people find out more and get involved?



Twitter @LuminaryBakery

Instagram @luminarybakery

We’re seeking donations for our new premises (financial and physical eg equipment!) and will be recruiting for new volunteers soon in lots of different capacities – do get in touch if you’re keen.

Thank you Alice Williams, Project Manager of Luminary Bakery for answering our questions and letting us share your wonderful bakery


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