Julie is the manager of Te Ara Manapou, an organisation that works with whānau who have moderate to severe mental health and addiction concerns. Clients who are pregnant or have young children are provided with intensive wraparound services.
Te Ara Manapou runs groups at the centre and also does home visiting. Good Bitches Baking is an important component of both roles and has been providing support most weeks for about three years. Baking is equally welcome at the centre and for home visits - it’s an eagerly anticipated part of the routine for groups that meet at the centre. When staff are home visiting, clients may be in many kinds
of accommodation and the GBB baking is an asset.
Julie says, “We’re trying to engage with the hard to reach. Some are in emergency accommodation, and they just don’t have access to home baking. The baking helps us get in the door – they love it.”
She also notes that the impact is bigger than just the baking.
“Our clients often feel judged and when we explain who does the baking, and that it’s for them, it makes an impact. They realise people really do care. And they love the name Good Bitches. It’s very powerful.
“The notes that come with the baking brighten everybody’s day – the staff as well as the clients. In fact we saved those notes for quite a while, there were so many lovely thoughts. And it’s great when the bakers’ kids decorate the boxes or write notes. I really like it when the bakers’ kids are involved – they’re modelling kindness with their children.”
Julie hopes that the Good Bitches know how appreciated they are. She can’t single out an occasion when the baking was the most helpful but she maintains that “the baking makes a difference all the time”.