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Loaves & Fishes

The Salvation Army in Bridlington has launched a community initiative called Loaves & Fishes that takes its inspiration from the Bible account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in the Gospels with the purpose of creating a more inclusive, cohesive  community in Bridlington where people develop a greater understanding and care for the more vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods while also being reminded of the direct connection between the economy of the town and the fishing industry upon which the town has been built.

It offers a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn how to cook tasty, healthy and value for money meals with local produce and a particular focus on shellfish, some of the key results from the catch each day. And food is always a good basis on which to bring people together and socialise.

Loaves & Fishes is a great opportunity to involve the whole community including children, young people, families and adults, fishermen and local businesses, schools, community groups and voluntary organisations.

The initiative includes the production of a recipe and heritage book which will encourage a variety of creative writing and illustrative contributions from individuals, schools and businesses to create a lasting memory of not just the Loaves & Fishes project but very importantly the town and community of Bridlington and what makes it a unique place to live.

The Loaves and Fishes programme is based around:

  • Running a series of 5 cookery programmes for families and older people and the homeless to learn how to prepare, cook and eat healthy meals. This will include a focus on shellfish, fish and bread making.
  • Build relationships in the community through programmes, ‘Cook off’ and Community meals (with a focus on including the elderly and isolated, homeless and disadvantaged people).
  • Reminding, re-educating and reconnecting the community of Bridlington to the Shellfishing industry.
  • Producing a recipe book with simple, attractive looking and tasty shellfish and fish dishes along with heritage facts and local case studies.
  • Take part in local/County events such as the Bridlington Harbour Festival to support the Shellfishing industry and the community.
  • Recruitment of a Volunteer Team with Shellfish Advocates, particularly among young people, who can share what they have learned in their networks and neighbourhoods.

Over the 18 month period of the Loaves & Fishes Project Bridlington Salvation Army is committed to the following:

  • Delivery of 5 cookery programmes
  • Hosting 2 Community meals and ‘Cook off’ competitions which will include invitations to families, friends and local people as well as those who took part in a cookery programme
  • New Volunteers recruited
  • 3 or more Shellfish Advocates recruited and equipped to promote the industry during the project’s lifespan and beyond
  • Taking part in Community events within each calendar year. For example in 2014 the Salvation Army celebrates its 135 Anniversary and the local RNLI team are likely to hold an event so these are good opportunities with which to link the project.
  • Production and distribution of a Recipe/Heritage book to make available in Bridlington and the county.

Who will benefit and how?

Because Loaves & Fishes is about developing a stronger community then the project is open to children, young people, families and adults. It will focus on those who are or have recently been disadvantaged including families who are managing on low incomes, young people or adults that have struggled with homelessness, are not in education, training or employment and those who are elderly and isolated

At the same time, Loaves & Fishes  is a great opportunity for people to learn more about Bridlington’s unique position as the UK’s premier shellfish port. The Salvation Army is looking forward to working with local Fishermen, Chefs, the RNLI schools and other community groups to share knowledge, stories and work together in partnership.

For the participants they will:

  • acquire or expand their cookery skills,
  • be encouraged to try different foods
  • have the opportunity to make new friends and feel part of a larger community
  • understand the critical link between Shellfishing and the town’s prosperity.
  • develop in confidence and communication skills
  • young people and adults who become volunteers and Advocates will be more knowledgeable about Shellfishing and develop communication, planning and leadership skills
  • Recipe book provides tangible evidence of their involvement, an achievement and demonstrates their positive involvement in the project.

For those involved in the Shellfish Industry:

  • selected members of the community will learn specific skills in the preparation and cooking of shellfish
  • Loaves & Fishes can raise the profile of the industry both locally and potentially across the county
  • stronger partnerships can be built with people and organisations in the town
  • creating Advocates encourages younger people to take an interest in and support the Shellfishing industry
  • we hope it will influence an increase in local and regional sales of Shellfish

For the wider community:

  • generate greater understanding and tolerance within the community
  • update and remind people of the importance of the Shellfishing industry and the impact it has on the town’s prosperity
  • strengthen networks between businesses, voluntary sector and individuals
  • contribute to greater support of local community events

Project Milestones

Refurbishment of the kitchen

November 2013

Cookery programmes

Spring, summer and autumn 2014
Spring and summer 2015

Community meals & cook offs

One per term until summer 2015

Community Events

June and August 2014, and two in 2015

New Volunteers recruited

Ongoing through project

Shellfish Advocates recruited

Autumn/Winter 2014

Production & distribution of Recipe Book

Summer 2015

Favourite recipes from Pilot programme

Click here to download our favourite recipes from the Pilot programme.

Latest News

The Salvation Army and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) joined forces to run a community cook off event in the Grotto at Bridlington Harbour.

Lifeboat team challenged to a 'Fishy cook-off' competition!

People from the community, holiday makers and the Mayor of Bridlington took on the RNLI team to cook the tastiest fish recipe using fresh ingredients including whiting and mackerel. Other members of the public were then invited to taste the various creations and vote for their favourite. In the end it was a tie.  People were just too fond of the RNLI to see anyone lose!

The event helped to raise money for the RNLI, enthusiastically supported by a team of girls called the ‘Cool Cooking Cookies’ who were taking part in the Lifestyle Challenge and sold a selection of homemade cakes and cookies.

RNLI team flank Mayor Bridlington - Shelagh Finlay and Captain Lynne Edwards

Church leader of Bridlington, Captain Lynne Edwards said: “The Lifeboat team were great sports as were the general public who took part.

“It was fun and tasty being able to cook a simple meal from scratch as well as reminding people of the close connection that Bridlington has with the sea and how valuable a part the RNLI plays in keeping people safe around the coast.”

RNLI team with Mayor and her creation

This community event has been part of a larger initiative called the Loaves & Fishes project which the Salvation Army has been running since the start of the year with the aim of encouraging a more inclusive community in Bridlington and reminding children, young people and adults of the direct connection between the town’s economy and the fishing industry.

Loaves & Fishes is part funded through the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) and more about the project can be seen as part of at the Salvation Army’s 135th Anniversary celebrations at Wellington Road on Saturday 9 August.

Mayor of Bridlington, Cllr Shelagh Finlay said: ”I was delighted to be involved in the community event to raise funds for the RNLI who provide a valuable service for Bridlington”

Loaves and Fishes Programme helps the community in Bridlington

The Salvation Army in Bridlington is now running the ‘Loaves and Fishes Project’ -  a new series of cookery programmes, community meals and events, plus work towards producing a recipe and heritage book, thanks to a grant from the Holderness Coast FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group).

The FLAG grant has also allowed the Salvation Army in the town to completely refurbish its kitchen in Wellington Road, Bridlington with safe and constant access to the energy supply, hot cupboards to cater for larger groups and community events, better storage and dishwashing facilities, and an improved working environment, making it safer and easier to prepare meals.

Church leader Captain Lynne Edwards has been running a pilot project with Gable House Nursery in Bridlington, in which pre-school children have been introduced to the idea of shellfish and given sample recipes to try. Each session has included facts on where the shellfish caught in Bridlington are exported to, the colour of crabs and lobsters, and craft activities to help children think about the sea. The sessions have proved so popular that some children are now bringing packed lunches that include fish and shellfish.

The team at Gable House commented: “The activities and stories were very exciting and productive for the children. We received a lot of feedback from parents and families saying how much their child had enjoyed the activities and talked about what they had made and used.”

“We would like to say what a fantastic all-round project this is . . . definitely something that would be beneficial to other children and groups.” Comment from Parent of child who took part.

Captain Edwards says: “Part of The Salvation Army’s role in Bridlington is to work with the local community to see it become more cohesive, to support those who are disadvantaged and lonely in the town. The Loaves and Fishes Project embodies that aim and takes as inspiration the Bible story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. We hope that this programme will benefit not only those who take part, but also those within the wider shellfish and fishing industry, schools, and local organisations.”

Ray Williamson of FLAG said: “We were delighted to be able to give grant funding to the Loaves and Fishes Project, which we believe will have a very positive impact both on Bridlington itself and on the local shellfish and fishing industry.”

The next stage of the Loaves and Fishes Project, which will launch just after Easter, will be a group for families and adults who are homeless, moving into new accommodation, or disadvantaged in some way. Captain Edwards is also hoping to run a week long programme in July with pupils from Bridlington High School.

The Holderness Coast FLAG funds many projects through a European funding programme to help the local fishing industry and the communities in which it is based. It is a public/ private sector partnership, and received grant aid of £1.4m of European funding to pay for 47 projects in the area, and has bid for a further £600 thousand to fund even more. It is hoping to learn the outcome of that bid in the next few weeks.

The allocation of the funding to the FLAG is controlled by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The aims of the FLAG are to secure a sustainable fishing industry; develop the tourism potential of the Holderness area; and to create stronger communities.

Schools Project

Young People bake bread, cook shellfish and interpret the sea through art

Seven young people from Bridlington School & Sports College took part in a 3 day programme of cookery, creative arts and the sea as part of the Loaves & Fishes project.


The group of young people who took part in the programme included Adam who is interested in becoming a fisherman and two of the girls who wanted to work in catering.

On the first day the young people learned how to make bread and create Tuna Rosti fishcakes which they enjoyed as did their families when they took their cooking results home at the end of the day!

Creativity skills then came to the fore as the group used a variety of techniques including sketching, painting, and colour dyes to create collages expressing their ideas of the sea and coast. The results looked fantastic.

Young People were then encouraged to start thinking about a recipe they would like to create themselves with if possible fish as an ingredient or at least in the theme!

YP Comments: “Making the bread was really good because we had never made it before and it was really satisfying seeing it come out of the oven.”


By 9am on the second day the group were already assembled around Clive Kingston, a Fisherman and Pier Manager in in the Bridlington Shellfish watching a lorry load of lobster depart for France and to learn about the shellfish catch.

Bridlington Shellfish is a co-operative of Skippers who have their own boats and go out to land crab, lobster and whelks. The young people learned about how crab and lobster are caught using shellfish pots and different types of bait to entice them. We were shown how to hold the shellfish safely without getting injured by their rather large pincers!, their weights and how they looked after until they are sent to their various destinations. Most of the catch is exported to Europe, particularly France and Spain but also to countries such as Vietnam and China, very little remaining in the UK.

Bridlington Shellfish were very generous with their time and looking after the young people including providing bacon sandwiches and ice creams.

The group then went beachcombing to use shells and other items found on the beach in their artwork before visiting the RNLI to learn more about the search and rescue operation. Bridlington which houses the all-weather lifeboat, works with smaller coastal locations to provide both inshore and at sea rescue. The RNLI also supports and provides additional training to the lifeguard teams to provide a comprehensive rescue service from the beach side right out to open water. And the young people were given the opportunity to try on the protective clothing worn at sea.

YP Comments: “We learned how to hold shellfish – if you hold a crab by its back legs it can’t use its pincers on you.”

“If you stroke a lobster down its back it goes to sleep”

“Clive Kingston is an awesome fisherman and Bridlington Shellfish were so generous, they really looked after us. We liked the boat ride and we got free bacon butties!”

“I didn’t know that the Lifeboat crew don’t get paid and it was interesting learning about the different classes of boats the RNLI uses.”


The group used the results of their beachcombing on the previous day to create miniature fish tanks which was fun if a little messy!

Captain Edwards showing the young people how to prepare and cook both crab and lobster and then each young person was given the opportunity of breaking up the shellfish and extracting the meat for use in their recipe or to have with a simple dressing in a sandwich.

During the day each young person cooked using their own recipe and some of those recipes will appear in the Loaves & Fishes cookbook as part of the project. The results were delicious and the appearance most professional. Adam was given a codling to fillet which he then cleaned and fried with a light breadcrumb sauce and served with new potatoes and salad. Elizabeth made a smoked haddock bake (which will also go into the Salvation Army’s book of Luncheon Club recipes) and Vicky  crab pasta. Meanwhile Reece cooked and served drop scones with strawberries and Abbie, Kaela and Chloe created some beautifully decorated cakes in the shape of a fish, clam and jellyfish.

Over the 3 day programme the young people programme a range of skills, were enthusiastic and worked really well together.

“Creating our own artwork and using different colours of tissue to get tye dye effects for the collage was fun and I liked having the freedom to use our own creativity.”

“It was great being together, laughing a lot and having fun”