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Alumni-run bakery launches crowdfunder to provide breakfast bags and bakery lessons for local schoolchildren

4 November 2022

Newcastle graduate Andy Haddon (BSc Psychology, 1984) from The Big River Bakery has released a song to accompany the crowdfunder, which will help the social enterprise support local families struggling to put hearty, healthy meals on the table during the rising cost of living.

Money raised from the campaign will provide local schoolchildren who can’t access breakfast clubs with breakfast bags. Local families will also benefit with free baking sessions this winter.

The team at The Big River Bakery hope to raise £11,975, which will allow them to provide family baking sessions demonstrating how to cook nutritious food from scratch and on a budget for the next 6 months, as well as offering breakfast bags to schoolchildren experiencing food poverty.

The raucous ‘Big River Bakery’ song which accompanies the crowdfunder was written by father and son duo Tony and Jacob Gowland, and draws on the Geordie folk tradition that has been rooted in the region since Geordie Ridley and Joe Wilson in the 19th century.

Within its celebratory chanting, the song reminds us of our history and our struggles. It talks of the pride, sacrifice, ingenuity and the sheer gruelling hard work it took make Newcastle what it is, which is the sum of its people and its history.

Tony Gowland, songwriter of 'Big River Bakery'

Doffing a cap to the spirit of the great Jarrow Crusade of October 1936, which saw local men march from Jarrow to London to protest the poverty faced by North East families, The Big River Bakery launched their crowdfunder on 31 October 2022 – the 86th anniversary of the Crusaders arriving in London.

‘Big Rivery Bakery’ is available to listen to on YouTube (see below), Spotify, iTunes and other music streaming platforms.

The Big River Bakery is a community bakery and social enterprise that was founded in 2013. The team run employability programmes to help people facing long-term unemployment move forward – as well as providing tasty treats!

There are plenty of ways you can support the bakery. You can visit them in Shieldfield, Newcastle, for some delicious baked goods. They also have an online shop with merchandise available to buy, including a Scotty the Stottie cuddly toy and book.