A small Horsham bakery business, set up to provide long term work for young adults with learning disabilities, is hoping to win a share of a life-changing pot of £3million to help fund a permanent premises.
Community Interest Company JubyLee Bakes is one of five groups in the Meridian West ITV region in the running for funding through the National Lottery Community Fund People’s Projects Competition.
The JubyLee Bakes team will showcase their project on Meridian West ITV after the 6 o’clock news on Thursday (April 4) in the hope of gaining support to secure a dedicated base in Thakeham.
Ellen Tomlinson, general manager of JubyLee Bakes, said: “To date, we have been using rented kitchen facilities within QEII Silver Jubilee School in Horsham, but we are restricted to after school hours.
“This is now limiting our potential for growth to include greater numbers of learning disabled young people.
“We are asking for your vote to help us obtain lottery funding, to enable us to renovate and fit out a kitchen in Thakeham.
“Just £50,000 would get the job done, providing a dedicated base for this enthusiastic band of young people.”
The JubyLee Bakes project was conceived just over three years ago when a group of young learning-disabled adults and their parents were discussing what to do when they left college.
After coming up with the idea to start a bakery, they began baking in a church hall for three hours a week.
Trading standards were consulted about regulations and labelling and the first bakes were made, sampled and finally the recipes were agreed upon.
Quickly three hours a week baking and packing time wasn’t enough, leading to the use of home kitchens and hiring of a school kitchen for a further three hours a week. All are five star rated by the Food Standards Agency.
Bakes by the team are now being sold at local offices, cafes and village markets as well as major outdoor events including Horsham Garden Music Festival, Cuckfield Bonfire Night and Gatwick Airport Fun Day.
Ellen said: “Our young people were winners of Young Start-Up Talent Gatwick Diamond in 2016, and their business has grown steadily since then, providing them with purposeful work which has benefitted other sectors of the community.
“It is recognised that over 90 per cent of young people with a learning disability do not manage to secure long term employment. These enterprising young people don’t want to join that statistic and in fact, want to grow their business offering meaningful employment to others.
“Please help these young people to continue to build their future.”
To vote for JubyLee Bakes visit the People’s Projects website at www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk. Voting opened at 9am on Monday April 1 and will end at 12 noon on Monday April 15.
For more about JubyLee Bakes, visit www.jubyleebakes.org.uk or find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.