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Award-winning social enterprise is reducing re-offending one pasty at a time

A not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to reduce re-offending by employing people with criminal convictions to produce baked goods, has won the Heart of Salford Award for Social Enterprise.

HMPasties, which is run by ex-offenders, was recognised for its work providing educational and training facilities to people with convictions.

Founder Lee Wakeham, an ex-offender himself, knows how important gaining employment and building a career are to living a life free of crime. Lee wants to give ex-offenders a second chance by helping them receive training and peer mentoring whilst employed and earning a living wage.

The enterprise’s traditional pasties are handmade using beef from the 120 acre farm in HMP Kirkham in Lancashire, simultaneously helping to increase employment and training opportunities within the prison itself, while ensuring a supply of high quality, locally produced beef. HMPasties’ mobile catering van delivers welcome food to local construction sites and other locations.

The award represents important recognition for the work of the enterprise, which has been running for just one year and was up against some long-standing local organisations.

Lee explained:

What keeps me going is that I love what I do, the pride our staff have in what they do and my commitment to making HMPasties a self-sustaining business. The van has given us real presence in Salford and has also enabled us to create two new jobs. Without funding from The Forward Trust’s Enterprise Fund and Groundwork and support from Crowdfunder, we couldn’t have achieved this.

Lee hopes to expand the enterprise in the near future, including  opening a shop and bakery in Droylsden, Greater Manchester. Plans include stocking produce made by businesses run by ex-offenders and, displaying prison artwork for sale in the shop.

With a number of corporate catering contracts also on the horizon, HMPasties looks set to go from strength to strength.

HMPasties is supported by The Forward Trust and Groundwork.