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

Women learning to bake at social enterprise, Luminary bakery in Stoke Newington. Picture: Soroptimis

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

An East London women’s organisation and Hackney bakery have been recognised for the support and mentoring they provide to vulnerable women.

Luminary Bakery graduates from its training programme have been helped into employment or further ed

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 London - Credit: Soroptimist International East London

Women’s organisation Soroptimist East London have helped many women forge a more secure future, getting many back into employment or education with help from Stoke Newington social-enterprise, Luminary Bakery.

That is why the East London group was the Best Practice Award in the category Prosperity 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.

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

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

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

Halimot Ogunnaike of Haliberry Cakes and Catering, was a student of the Luminary Bakery and now runs her own business. 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’s been one of the pillars of my business helping me along the way.”

Halimot has not only set up her own baking business, she has also become a member of Soroptimist East London herself.

Halimot has not only set up her own baking business, she has also become a member of Soroptimist Eas

Halimot has not only set up her own baking business, she has also become a member of Soroptimist East London herself. Picture: Soroptimist International of East London - Credit: Soroptimist International of East London

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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” to the lives of the women it supports.

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.”

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

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

Soroptimist East London meets every month at various locations in East London or on-line. To learn more visit 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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