March 2020, we all found ourselves working from home and looking for new ways to engage and support the people we work with. After settling in and resolving IT issues, we decided to use ZOOM for individual and group work and baking was suggested. Many participants had never baked before. We started week 1 with a Madeira cake and discovered some people did not have weighing scales, tins, ingredients, poor internet connections and had ovens that performed very differently.
The challenge was set! As the weeks progressed the issues were resolved, baking materials delivered, as well as scales and we all found a way to make it work. 3 months in we have a regular baking day each week and we have learnt together how to make cakes, pies, pastry and bread remotely. Everyone wanted the recipes, so this BBO Baking Book was born as well! But more than this, it has helped people feel connected and given a structure to their week, especially if living alone and shielding. This is a quote from one of our regular customers:
"BBO has given me something to look forward to, with the baking workshops especially. If gives me contact and communication with others and a routine for the week. I would have gone crazy without it over the last 3 months living alone. Baking relaxes me, I switch off from what is going on and my worries. I have to concentrate on what I am doing, shop and prepare for it. I really enjoy it. Less time to stress. Other services have closed that I thought would support me or just haven’t been in contact. I don’t know what I would have done without hvoss."
A big thankyou to all the participants involved who have befriended each other, learnt to cook and bake together over 13 sessions and 3 months, especially Rose, Georgia, Jamie, Louise, Vicky, Paul, Chloe and Emma.
We had a request this week to carry on with this, even when we are back in the office and have a special Christmas cake bake off already planned!