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Jingle bells…jingle bells…..jingle all the way!

Another wonderful year at Crumbs! We’ve sliced and we’ve diced, we’ve baked and we’ve caked, we’ve been up and we’ve been down and we’ve spun all the way around!


We attended our first Wedding Show at the BIC back in March. It was great to be among the big boys and girls at this event showing off our own wedding package. We had lots of interest and got wedding bookings for the summer. We provided hot wedding lunches and cold fork buffet style food plus the wedding cakes and table service.

Bournemouth Uni students arranged a charity night in aid of Crumbs ‘Bake a Difference Quiz Night’. The evening was great fun and £589 was raised.

We celebrated 20 years of being a charity this year! Celebrations began in April at our AGM, cake and canapes were enjoyed by over 30 attendees, including trainees, employees, board members and special guests. Ursula Boardman, Training & Development Manager comments, “It was a great turn out and our interns and trainees did a fantastic job catering for the event – everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

Celebrating twenty years of Crumbs training for independence at the Crumbs centre, Ensbury Park … 24.04.2017 … photograph by Hattie Miles … Angus Campbell, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, cuts the cake to mark the twentieth anniversary of Crumbs, with founder of the organisation Anne Gardner, seated right, Crumbs trainees, the mayor and mayoress of Bournemouth Eddie and Janet Coope and Douglas Eyre, third left, Crumbs chairman.

Did you know? The Crumbs Project was founded in 1997 by Anne Gardner MBE and sprang from the need for adults in long-stay care to have a pattern to their day, a skill at their fingertips and something to talk about.

Anne Gardner commented: “At 17 our daughter Liz started to hear the voices which were to torment her for most of her adult life. In a bid to help I became involved in projects to help those with enduring mental illness and that’s when I came up with The Crumbs Project. In the days when long-term stay in a mental health hospital was often normal, I wanted to create a social, safe place for adults suffering with mental health, and later learning disabilities and stabilised addiction problems, to thrive.”

Throughout the year we have provided community lunches to St Kilda’s in Southbourne, Bure House in Christchurch, St Marks Church at Wallisdown, Winton Methodist Church, Holy Epiphany at Castle Lane, Bournemouth, All Saints at Southbourne, St Joesph’s at Purewell, Christchurch and Hibberd Court at Ensbury Park.

Nineteen trainees and interns gained qualifications in Food Safety through Highfields with which we are now a registered training centre, and in Literacy and Numeracy with BDP Skills and Learning.

Five trainees gained five units each towards an NVQ and two trainees gained NVQ Apprenticeships – one in Cleaning and Support Services and the other in Professional Cooking with Hit Training. Thank you, Hannah Darch and Alexis Ford for all your support with our trainees over the year!

Events we attended this year:  Taste of the South Food Festival held at Poole Park in May, Mental Helath Awareness Day held at Bournemouth station,  Slades Farm Open Space – serving hot bacon butties, Quality Matters Conference at Poole Lighthouse and provided delicious cakes, Slades Farm Family Festival, BCHA Festival of Wellbeing at Boscombe Gardens, and the Annual Volunteer Reception at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals – serving cream teas, Christmas lunches for Littledown Bridge and so many more events!

Bourne2sing all male choir sang in aid of Crumbs at St Marks Church!

Our Treasurer Charlie retired from his post. We wish him all the best and thank him for all his hard work over the many years he was with Crumbs.

We said good-bye to Helen our Bakery Supervisor and wish her well in her new job. Thank you Helen for your dedication and hard work over the years!

We welcomed Job Coach Karin, Admin Trainer Annie, new Bakery & Kitchen Supervisor Sharon and a new Kitchen Trainer Karyn to our Crumbs Team!

We Celebrated the life of our late Founder Anne Gardner MBE. Anne sadly passed away in September with her husband and family around her. ‘I wanted to create a social, safe place for adults suffering with mental health and later, learning disabilities and stabilised addiction problems to thrive’ – Anne Gardner

Erika Sloper, Crumbs Food Services Manager Commented: “One amazing lady, who will continue to make a difference to so many peoples lives through her vision The Crumbs Project… Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow!”

From one of Anne’s grandaughters: “Granny told me not to be sad as I’ve had a wonderful life”.

Douglas Eyre, the Chair of Crumbs commented on behalf of the charity: “Anne, through her founding of Crumbs, has literally made a difference to hundreds of lives helping folks with special challenges in life towards greater independence. A strong, determined character who knew exactly what she wanted! But with a heart of gold, a keen sense of humour and always, even when struggling with great physical problems herself, a very graceful lady. She was also a dedicated family person and our thoughts and prayers are with George and her family.”

Anne will be greatly missed but never forgotten. The Crumbs Project will continue to support her legacy of caring for others in her memory.

Thank you to our Patrons of 2017,Mayor of Bournemouth, Councilor Lawrence Williams, local MP, Conor Burns and business women Kate Holliday (aka Anne Gardner’s niece).

Thank you to Reef Encounter of Boscombe for having trainee Sonny on a six month work experience placement!

Thank you to Drumconner Care for having trainee George on a work experience placement!

Thank you to Domestic Angel’s, Anglo Continental Lanuage School, Supply Shack, Sturton’s and Tappers for all your support!

Companies that have employed our trainees this year are: Great Oaks Care Home, John Lewis and Compass at Tesco.

Thank you to our funders:

  • Lloyds Bank Foundation
  • Garfield Western Foundation
  • Santander
  • The BIG Lottery Fund

Thank you to the COOP at Moordown in Bournemouth and Christchurch for your fund-raising this year!

And not forgetting our fantastic customers a BIG thank you!

Have a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2018 from all at The Crumbs Project!




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