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Kindness-based prison programme a recipe for success - Corrections

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Department of Corrections is marking World Kindness Day today (13 November) by acknowledging the work Good Bitches Baking does spreading kindness through baked goods to those who need it most.

Following the successful pilot of the Prison Bake programme at Rimutaka Prison in 2018, volunteers from Good Bitches Baking are back in prison and working with even more prisoners to make sweet treats for people who are going through a difficult time in the Wellington and Hutt Valley areas.

The charity is helping to connect Corrections and community by taking part in the Patron Programme to support new recruits on the Corrections Officer Development Pathway. Nic Murray and fellow Good Bitches Baking co-founder Marie Fitzpatrick will be joining Cohort 52 at their graduation ceremony on Thursday 14 November at Corrections’ National Learning Centre in Trentham, Wellington.

At Arohata and Rimutaka prisons Good Bitches Baking are currently delivering a baking programme to 24 people in the self-care units.

During the eight-week programme 12 volunteers from Good Bitches Baking have been teaching prisoners cooking techniques and assisting them to make cookies, cakes and scones to donate to local homeless shelters, women’s refuges, hospices and hospitals.

"While the participants gain practical skills, the programme isn’t really about baking. It’s a reintegration tool to help prisoners connect and contribute to their local community," says Nic Murray, co-founder of Good Bitches Baking.

"Evidence shows that doing an altruistic deed increases wellbeing and social-connectedness. We’re thrilled to be offering the programme for another year to help even more people in prison see how a simple act of kindness can make a positive impact on the world."

This year all the ingredients for the programme have been donated by Davis Trading Limited, a Wellington food distributor that provides produce to our prison network.

"This programme certainly proves that kindness is contagious! Last year the Department provided low-cost ingredients for the programme so we’re grateful for Davis Trading’s donation, which is around the value of $800," says Aaron Jeffs, Principal Adviser Rehabilitation and Learning at Rimutaka Prison.

"Prison Bake has helped people in prison to think about others, see the benefits of helping others and develop new skills they can use when they’re back with their whānau. The men who took part last year were keen to get back in the kitchen and have encouraged others to join them, so it’s exciting that we can offer the programme for a second year."

Good Bitches Baking is a charity with over 2,300 volunteers who make baked goods to spread a bit of kindness to over 25 communities across New Zealand.

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