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About Crumbs

Crumbs sprung from the need for those in long-stay care to have a pattern to their day: a skill at their finger tips and something to talk about.

Find out more about why The Crumbs Project was started from Crumbs founder the late Anne Gardner MBE.

Meet the staff team and volunteers

Watch the Crumbs Video and see how Crumbs trainees progress through their training working towards increased independence.

The Crumbs Project has been chosen by AFC Bournemouth as their charity of the year for season 2018/19. Find out more here.


With thanks to our funders



History of Crumbs

A charity since 1997 Crumbs was founded by the late Anne Gardner MBE. Here she tells the story of why the Crumbs Project exists today.

At 17 our daughter Liz started to hear the voices which were to torment her for most of her adult life. There seemed little I could do: every which-way I turned I drew a blank…. and I began to get involved in talking: to others in the same position, to psychiatrists, to nutritionists… anyone who had something to contribute to a puzzle which made no sense.

Then the practical side of me clicked in and I became involved in projects to help those with enduring mental illness, in the days when long-term stay in a mental hospital was often normal and the future looked very dark.

CRUMBS sprung from the need for those in long-stay care to have a pattern to their day: a skill at their finger tips and something to talk about. Sadly Liz never became involved, through choice, but many others have now been through the skilled fingers of our dedicated staff team. Working as we did in those days, many badly damaged people came through the doors to our sheltered kitchen environment where so much recovery took place.

Two years after becoming a charity we expanded to include persons with learning disability and stabilised addiction problems and thus we evolved into the mixed disability workforce which is so successful today. Support from Grant-making Trusts enabled us to expand: the staff team and trainee numbers grew and the change to training for independence and employment became our aim.

Liz lost her fight with cancer just as Crumbs Café was opening. I like to think that she would have taken pleasure from just knowing how many have been helped in their struggle to just enjoy life in the Community, even though I was so singularly unable to do the same for her.

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