Strategy towards long-term growth

The Bread Maker
Idayat Odeleye
Reach Service Team

Idayat shares The Bread Maker's story of recruiting trustees to help them secure their future in uncertain times.

Based in Aberdeen, Scotland, The Bread Maker has been providing apprenticeships to adults with learning disabilities for some 21 years. They offer meaningful training and education to apprentices by teaching them how to make all manner of fresh baked goods, which are then sold on premises in their coffee house or to their many wholesale customers dotted around town.

During the pandemic, the coffee house doors closed, but as lockdown measures have begun easing, and apprentices begin their gradual return, ‘the focus now is on the organisation’s long term growth’, says Chair of the Board Gerry Inglis. After the retirement of their previous chair, and the relocation of another Trustee earlier in the year, this was the perfect moment for the board to find new members who ‘lived locally, showed real empathy and interest towards the charity, and who could actively participate in corporate governance and advise on the future business direction’.


I take great pride in the fact that I can share some of my knowledge and skills for the good of others.

With the help of the Reach platform, The Bread Maker was able to recruit two new trustees; who have now been in post for just over one month. One of these recruits is Neil Marchant, whose professional work background lies in senior level project, operations and partner relationship management. Though it is still early days, Gerry and the rest of the board and management team, are confident that this kind of knowledge and experience will go a long way in helping them flesh out the specifics of their five year plan, which includes expansion of the cafe and increasing their visibility in the local community.

Having previously volunteered at Young Enterprise Grampian, The Samaritans and Youth Befriending, Neil is no stranger to working with social organisations. ‘I take great pride in the fact that I can share some of my knowledge and skills for the good of others,’ he says. A statement perfectly in line with the idea of ensuring the an organisation is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit. To date, Neil has attended two board meetings during which work has already begun with the CEO and staff to determine a growth and development strategy for the organisation.
As a fresh start looms in the form of 2021, and as we recover from the fallout of covid-19, more and more social organisations are questioning how they can sustain their operations, and beyond that, how they can achieve growth in such uncertain times. The Bread Maker is an example of how recruiting the right type of skills and experience to your board can help you begin framing these conversations into a workable plan .

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