10 May 2019
A picture of Baking a Difference

Residents at a Sanctuary Care home in Leicester have been connecting through baking as part of an innovative local project.

Charity Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A) and social business Planet Leicester Bakers have been delivering bread making sessions to Asra House Residential Care Home residents through their community bread project, Baking a Difference.

The project uses the process of baking and pleasure of sharing fresh, handmade bread to bring residents living in care homes together with their local community.

Bread bakers have been running regular community ‘bread and conversations’ sessions with Asra residents, with the aim of reducing loneliness and isolation and improving mental wellbeing.

Through the sessions, residents can share memories and positive feelings associated with bread in their lives. The bread making process also offers physical activities positive for residents’ physical functions, such as arm exercise and finger dexterity, through dough working and precision hand use.

The Baking a Difference project has received almost £50,000 of National Lottery funding for the delivery of the sessions and the CEO of National Lottery operator Camelot, Nigel Railton, recently visited Asra House to meet residents and see the project in action.

He was joined by Camelot’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Matt Ridsdale, with both showing their own bread making skills by turning their hand to some dough work.

Nigel Railton commented: “It was great to see first-hand the incredible difference National Lottery funding has made to the Baking a Difference project.

“L4A, Planet Leicester Bakers and the Asra House Residential Care Home staff really are doing some fantastic work to create a positive and enjoyable experiences for residents, and it was great to see that in action.”

Melissa March, CEO of L4A, said:” It is fantastic to see the power that the joy of bread can have in transforming how people think and feel. At L4A, we are delighted to have a range of partnerships that enable us to improve the quality of later life for older people receiving care in Leicestershire."

Dina Dasani, home manager at Asra House, added: “The Baking a Difference project is very popular with our residents and really helps them evoke memories from their past.

“We were delighted to host the visit from Camelot and allow them to see the project in action and positive impact it has on our residents’ lives.”