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From the editor's desk 17 November

The War Cry comments on baking 

A baking project in Coventry is helping women who have come to the UK as refugees

MORE than eight million viewers saw Rahul Mandal being named the winner of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off at the end of last month. It was the channel’s biggest audience for more than six years. Such is the popularity of the show that it has launched media careers for previous contestants Nadiya Hussain and Liam Charles. This week Liam began hosting his own baking programme, even though he only finished fifth in last year’s series.

Baking is enjoying a significant rise in popularity. Although the dramas and traumas of making a signature bake sometimes seem overcooked for television, millions of people have got a taste for producing their own cakes, breads and pastries.

Now a baking project in Coventry is helping women who have come to the UK as refugees.

Proof Bakery, as we report in this week’s War Cry, is run out of a church kitchen in the city. Coventry is a major area of dispersal for refugees, and the social enterprise aims to give them a sense of dignity, purpose and belonging.

It was the brainchild of Chernise Neo, who explains how she found that baking brought the women together by allowing them to engage in an activity with which they were familiar. As they wait for their dough to rise, the women receive career advice and IT training.

Being a part of Proof Bakery helps the women to learn English and other skills, while placing them in a supportive community as they wait for their future in this country to be resolved.

It seems incredible that something as basic as baking can help those whose lives have been turned upside down because they had to leave the country they called home.

The story of how Chernise created Proof Bakery is an example of the positive difference any individual can make to the lives of others, if they have the determination to do so.

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