Breadwinners: Bread-y and Raring to Go


Bread. Who DOESN’T love bread?! Classic sourdough toast, a bacon bap, or focaccia in the sun. Even if you’re gluten-free there’s much more choice now.

Award winning charity Breadwinners saw our love of bread as an opportunity to help support refugees into sustainable employment by training them to run their own bread businesses.

Freshly Baked Refugee-Run Businesses

The Breadwinners website shares the distressing fact that “50% of refugees between the age of 18 and 34 struggle to find any work, despite searching on average for 21 months”.

Breadwinners aim to change this by training young refugees and asylum seekers to run market stalls selling fresh, organic bread. They can also deliver the bread to communities by bicycle.

The Breadwinners are all people who both need and want to get into the business world. They are referred to the foundation by charity partners such as St Mungo’s, Crisis Cafe, and the Refugee Council. They then go through on-the-job training as well as industry-led training sessions. Following this they are given a bicycle, a trailer and a bakery partner.

Once they’re trained and have all the necessary tools of the trade, the Breadwinners can buy loaves at cost price from their partner bakery. They can then sell this bread for a profit, and use it to build their business.

Customers can order online for delivery or buy it from their nearest Breadwinner. 95% of us buy bread from bakers, supermarkets and artisans every day. So why not buy bread from those who are vulnerable and in need of our business?

Refugees learn time management, build confidence and contacts, and get involved with the community. These skills and experiences allow refugees to progress into longer term, independent employment.

The Breadwinners Recipe

The Breadwinners Foundation is an ambitious charity which was set up in 2016. It’s the brainchild of John Lister of Shipton Mill in the Cotswolds. It’s a registered charity with funds coming from a variety of sources.

Shipton Mill gives some funding and the People’s Postcode Lottery also plays a part. They also recently received almost £50,000 in funding by winning The People’s Project. This is an annual programme that gives people the chance to decide how National Lottery funding is spent in their community.

Individuals and corporates can also have their name or logo placed on a trailer or delivery bike in exchange for sponsorship.

Rye Bread & Refugees

We adore social entrepreneurs who see a problem and come up with creative solutions to improve it. Breadwinners is an inspirational example of this and we hope it keeps growing.

If you fancy giving your support to refugees whilst enjoying delicious fresh bread in return, why not look up your local Breadwinner? Then treat yourself to a delicious sandwich, knowing you’ve done good!