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Bread & Roses: changing the world with flower power

We are really excited about the work Bread & Roses, one of our projects from this year’s YFN and Year Here event, have been doing.

Based in Hackney, Bread & Roses is a response to the fact that refugees living in the UK are six times less likely to be employed than the national average - with women finding it even harder to secure work than their male counterparts.  The project supports refugee women through the subtle power of floristry, which allows them to provide both practical skills and a creative emotional outlet for the women they work with.  They provide employability workshops covering CV writing, interview preparation and job hunting while also  running floristry workshops with programme participants. The flowers made in the workshops are then sold to businesses, such as Pitfield and Poco, in east London, creating a funding stream for the programme.

Having started the project only in April, Sneh Jani (26) and Olivia Head (23) have made amazing progress. They recently curated flowers at the Barbican, for an event exploring different responses to the refugee crisis and have been running floristry workshops with the likes of Hackney Women's Institute to help spread the word about the tough time refugee women have finding work.

They have already been able to get three women from their pilot into work or training for work with several others  in the process of interviewing for jobs.  This young project has great aims to expand to working with asylum seeking women who do not yet have the right to work, so that when they are granted status they are better equipped to search for work independently.

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