The newest addition to the Bread & Beyond team is already on a roll with giving young people with severe autism the skills to be bakers.

Laura Parker joined us permanently at the start of September as Job Coach for the bakery.

Laura’s role is all about equipping our trainee bakers, who are all affected by severe autism, with the skills and experience they need to work in a bakery, and the opportunities to have work placements in other bakeries.

Laura previously worked within the school at Prior’s Court and has been working with us on an interim basis since July.

Over the past three months, a number of our trainee bakers have made a huge amount of progress in training sessions, and more of young people at Prior’s Court have been introduced to the bakery.

Laura said: “I am excited to bring my experience and skills from a structured classroom to the bakery and support in setting up visuals and structure that make it easier for our young people to learn.

“It is exciting to be able to work with young adults that I haven’t had the chance to work with as I am usually with the littlest children in the Lower School at Prior’s Court and it’s nice to see the difference in independence from when the children start to where they end as young adults.

“Going forward I would love it if the younger children in the Lower School could have taster sessions in the bakery and have a fun and educational experience.

“I am not a master baker at home - I try my hardest but it never seems to go right so the young people are teaching me as well!”

While the bakery shop is not open to the general public, Bread & Beyond products are available at a number of outlets across the West Berkshire area, including Stockcross Village Stores; and Casey Fields Farm Shop, in Ashampstead. We also supply all the bread and baked goods on the Prior’s Court site, catering for around 90 young people and 500 staff members.