Homebaked is a community land trust and co-operative bakery situated on the boundary between the neighbourhoods of Everton and Anfield, just opposite the Liverpool Football Club. The project is co-owned and co-produced by people who live and work in our area. Starting from having saved our iconic neighbourhood bakery from demolition and developed it into a thriving community-run business with a beautiful apartment above we are proposing to regenerate our high street ‘brick by brick and loaf by loaf’, using money that is spent in the neighbourhood to benefit our communities.
This work is based on the simple belief that we all deserve to live well. For us that means good jobs, secure homes, great food and welcoming spaces to meet, share stories, learn and celebrate.
In 2017 we began work on the apartment above the bakery - the first homes in Homebaked.
Our building team is almost finished on the outdoor building work on HomeSquare, before they head upstairs to begin work on the new flats above the bakery.
Our trainees, David, Bradley and Leanne sat down for a chat with the site supervisor and their mentor, Paul Harcombe, for an early morning chat to talk carpentry, dog poo and what he’s learned so far.
How did you get into carpentry?
When I was 16 there was I scheme which I joined called YTS, set up by Margaret Thatchers Comrades. You went and learned a skill and earned jack-shit really; £ 29.50 per week. I came out of there having learned marquetry, which is wood veneering, carpentry, wood turning, upholstery and french polishing and so I picked up quite a lot of skills which are now transferable. It was well worth doing.
It was a 2 year course and I did 1 year of it and got a job through a company called Thorn EMI refurbishing veneers on televisions. In those days you’d rent the televisions from radio rentals.
How did you get involved in Homebaked?
I responded to an email which suggested that there might be an opportunity for me. They asked, ‘do you want to use your skills and give something back’ and I was well up for that.
It was the opportunity to share my skills with other people and see if it might be interesting for them. You learn quite a bit about yourself when you’re teaching, too.
What have been your memorable moments so far?
Funnily enough I had some photos of it out last night. When we were here on the first day cleaning all the dog poo up and Bradley fell in it. The first day, covered in shit.
Memorable? I think it was the early stages because nobody knew each other and we were all trying to find out who we all were.
What do you think of your nickname?
Mine is ‘Curly Head’ or something isn’t it?
It's funny you ask that because it used to be that years ago, too. It hasn’t gone away.
Who’ve been the characters that you’ve met so far?
Everyone really because you’re around them a lot. I’m around you a lot, like it or lump it. I work Nicolas a lot, too.
What have you learned from Nicolas?
He’s one of the better architects I’ve worked with because he knows how to build as well, not just planning and drawing, but he knows how to build as well. A bit like Howard Hughes, who learned how to design an aircraft and learned how to fly it as well. Some architects don’t want to know, they give you a drawing and say ‘off you go’ and they’re never dirty, but Nicholas is right in there like a bull, he gets stuck in. That's what I like about him.
What are you most looking forward to?
Teaching you how to make furniture, and how to design. Thats the main thing. I know that you’ll really love that.
You’ve worked in other places, where was your favourite place to work?
Australia, because the heat was manageable. The heat in Florida was heavy, too much.
I worked and travelled coast to coast. But I loved Sydney. I was there in 2001.
How did Liverpool change whilst you were away?
When I got back to Liverpool, health had become current, which I was quite surprised at. I’d loved in countries where health was consciously current all the time, but when I came back here and juice bars had popped up everywhere and people were getting into Yoga and training before they went to work.
New buildings, new sights, new bars and restaurants, new houses, areas disappeared. Loads new.
On 28th February and 1st March 2017, Power to Change and Homebaked brought together a contingent of community organisations from across the UK and Europe to share their experiences of operating community businesses at different stages of their journey.
Power to Change is an independent charitable trust, whose funding is used to strengthen community businesses across England. The Learning Grant is the first initiative of the Empowering Places programme - a targeted funding and support programme which focuses its efforts on specific neighbourhoods to nurture community business potential. This event marked the mid-way point of the Learning Grant Programme.
When we saw the tender for the delivery of the event last November, we applied with a proposal for the kind of event that we, as people working within a community business, would feel excited to go to.
Our aim was to create an event that addresses everyone involved as a learner and an expert, where the critical friends, storytellers and facilitators stay for the entire event to share their experience, where people get to listen to stories and tell their own, where we share hands-on knowledge, challenges and ideas gained from our day-to-day work and have lots of informal time to have conversations, create lasting relationships with our peers and - not to forget - eat good food and have a dance.
We made sure all the provision for the event from transport and food to the venue, was run and serviced by local community or social businesses, thus trialling a live example of community partnerships and social supply chain in action.
We collaborated with the team behind Ethos magazine with the aspiration to create a 'learning document' that is full of resources; a captivating read and looks so good you want to keep it on your mantelpiece for people to find (and take).
But most importantly we wanted to create the opportunity for the participants to have some time to reflect and gain a fresh perspective on their place and their work, feel nurtured by the knowledge that they are part of a wider network and go home with renewed energy for delivering change in their community.
We know from the feedback received that our event was very much appreciated, and we want to thank all attendees for the incredible genero sity with which they approached each other and the format. We learned so much from you all.
A big thank you to Power to Change for putting its trust in us and for all the support along the way. Of course we would love to do this kind of thing ourselves again, iron out some kinks and try out some new things.
But actually, what we want the most is for learning to be delivered more often on a grassroots level and for more organisations like ours to take the opportunity to create the kind of event that they would like to go to. So, see you next time in Sheffield or Luton or Rostanga. We are looking forward to it.
Text taken from People Power, the learning document produced in partnership with Ethos Magazine. See more at www.ethos-magazine.com
We would love to celebrate the opening of HOMESQUARE - a public square built with love for everyone who visits our high street - with you!
Sunday, 29th, 2-6pm. Official ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm.
There will be lovely food, chats and games, family workshops building bird houses and planters, back alley bowling, face painting, planting activities, time to meet and chat and (for the ones who dare and care) sing some KARAOKE!
Please join in and invite friends and family.
After a busy and eventful summer the Homebaked CLT trainees have finished their work on the public square next to our block. We have called it Homesquare (or alternatively Hometurf!). It is a place for locals and visitors to stop and enjoy a little oasis of nature, calm and company right on our high street. It will also be a venue for any workshops and activities that you would like to use it for in the future.
'This is not about gentrification’: the pie shop reviving an Anfield street
As Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium gleams in the April sunshine, the abandoned, steel-shuttered houses cowering in its shadow serve as a poignant reminder of the impact developments can have on their host communities.
But in the unassuming bakery at the end of the terrace lies the heart of a movement working to transform this run-down area back into the vibrant neighbourhood residents remember.
The Homebaked cooperative bakery is in prime position to sell pies to some of the 40,000 football fans who come to the Anfield stadium on an average match day. What its customers might not realise is that in the back room of the Victorian premises a group of locals have cooked up a plan to transform the empty properties next door into 26 high-quality, affordable flats....
Read the full article at https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/apr/19/gentrification-liverpool-anfield-football-stadium-affordable-homes-cooperative-bakery-community