ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan recently hosted bakers from across Cardiff to compete against a South Wales Police team in a baking challenge designed to promote community cohesion.
Five amateur bakers took on five members of staff and officers from South Wales Police in a competition organised by Detective Chief Inspector Eve Davis and Cheryl Pinheiro from Women Connect First. Five women from Tunisian, Sudanese and Yemeni communities in Cardiff volunteered to take part in the event.
As well as supporting the community initiative, the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre used the event to introduce the women to the facilities, courses and employment opportunities offered at Cardiff Metropolitan University. This included a tour and working alongside ZERO2FIVE staff in the Food Industry Centre development kitchens.
Helen Taylor, Technical Director at ZERO2FIVE said:
“This was an important event for South Wales Police and Women Connect First and we were pleased to be able to support their work in bringing communities together. For us, it was an opportunity to bring people into the university who may never have visited before and give them an insight into the work we do. “We would be thrilled if, through events such as these, we can inspire potential future food entrepreneurs to take their skills and ideas to the next level,”.
Detective Chief Inspector Eve Davis said:
“As the force lead for domestic abuse and violence, I understand that domestic abuse and violence is a crime that disproportionately affects females.
"This event created an opportunity to engage with females who may not have come into contact with police officers or police staff members before and I hope it will go some way to breaking down barriers and building trust and confidence."
"I also hope the event has promoted the opportunity that policing as a career could also be an option. We chose to host the event at Cardiff Metropolitan University so that the women could also find out more about courses and education that are available to them,” she said.
The main bake-off event was judged by Chief Superintendent Wendy Gunney, Women Connect First CEO Maria Contstanza Mesa and entrepreneur Maggie Ogunbanwo. The competition was won by Mounira Debbabi with her recipe for vegetable and meat tagine.
Women Connect First CEO Maria Contstanza Mesa said:
“One of our main aims is to work in partnership with companies and organisations like South Wales Police and Cardiff Metropolitan University to make a wider range of jobs more accessible to diverse communities.
“Events like this volunteer bake off - simple as they may sound - can be really powerful in bringing people from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds into new environments where they can learn together, support each other and promote greater understanding and integration,” she said.