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East London women’s group and Hackney bakery recognised for mentor project

PUBLISHED: 11:05 04 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:23 06 November 2020

Women learning to bake at social enterprise, Luminary bakery in Stoke Newington. Picture: Soroptimist International East London

Women learning to bake at social enterprise, Luminary bakery in Stoke Newington. Picture: Soroptimist International East London

Soroptimist International East London

An east London women’s organisation has been recognised for supporting and mentoring vulnerable women working in a Hackney bakery.

Luminary Bakery graduates from its training programme have been helped into employment or further education by a mentoring programme led by volunteer women's group, Soroptimist East London. Picture: Soroptimist International East LondonLuminary Bakery graduates from its training programme have been helped into employment or further education by a mentoring programme led by volunteer women's group, Soroptimist East London. Picture: Soroptimist International East London

Women’s organisation Soroptimist East London has won the Prosperity category of the Best Practice Awards by SIGBI (Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland), a global volunteer movement working to transform the lives of women and girls in 124 countries.

It was recognised for its mentoring partnership with a Stoke Newington social enterprise, Luminary Bakery, which helped women forge a more secure future and get back into employment or education.

READ MORE: Stoke Newington’s Luminary Bakery releases cookbook filled with recipes and stories of hope

Alice Williams of the Luminary Bakery said: “Luminary are really grateful to the Soroptimist volunteers who have been mentoring our graduates from our training programs, really investing in their personal and professional development and making them feel a part of community.”

Halimot Ogunnaike of Haliberry Cakes and Catering, was a student of the Luminary Bakery and now runs her own business. Picture: Soroptimist International East LondonHalimot Ogunnaike of Haliberry Cakes and Catering, was a student of the Luminary Bakery and now runs her own business. Picture: Soroptimist International East London

READ MORE: Stoke Newington’s Luminary Bakery ‘twins’ its toilet with loo in Pakistan for anti-poverty campaign

alimot Ogunnaike was a student of the Luminary Bakery before she set up her own business, Haliberry Cakes and Catering.

She told the Gazette: “My Soroptimist mentor did a wonderful job.

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“She’s like my mum and a mentor at the same time. She has been one of the pillars of my business helping me along the way.”

Halimot has also become a member of Soroptimist East London herself.

She added: “I want to give back to the community, to share my skills and offer what I can. Just a week ago I gave a charity baking class to raise money for The Ideas Partnership, our partner in Kosovo.”

Alison Charles, a member of Soroptimist East London who lead the Luminary mentoring project, said Soroptimist East London chose to mentor women trainees at Luminary Bakery because it makes a “real difference”.

Alison Charles, a member of Soroptimist East London who lead the Luminary mentoring project. Picture: Soroptimist International of East LondonAlison Charles, a member of Soroptimist East London who lead the Luminary mentoring project. Picture: Soroptimist International of East London

READ MORE: Stoke Newington’s Luminary Bakery show female empowerment is a piece of cake

She added: “Working with Luminary feels like working with a family, they care deeply for all the women they support. It is an honour to work alongside them.”

Soroptimist East London meets every month at various locations in East London or online. To learn more, click here or get in touch at SIELSecretary@gmail.com

Learn more about Halimot’s cakes and attend her online baking classes click here

To learn about the Luminary Bakery click here.


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