Breadwinners Stories

Get to know the stories of the people behind Breadwinners markets stalls.

We empower refugees through entrepreneurship, employment, work experience, training and mentoring whilst providing Londoners with the best organic artisan bread.

Jack, Mentor, giving a speech at the Risers Graduation Ceremony - Cohort #4

Jack, Mentor, giving a speech at the Risers Graduation Ceremony - Cohort #4

Giving Mahari space to grow

“I had the privilege of mentoring Mahari for eight weeks on the Primrose Hill stand (and sampling some delicious loaves along the way).

For the sake of a good story, I’d love to say there was a huge transition from shy and insecure young man into a confident and outgoing one. But the reality is Mahari threw himself into the experience from day one. Did he get it right straight away? No. Few of us do. But the fact he felt comfortable enough to push himself to learn new skills on-the-fly is a testament to how supportive and encouraging Breadwinners is as an organisation.

It’s easy to stay in our comfort zones, but we don’t learn anything in them. By the end of eight weeks, Mahari had the confidence to go for an interview and is now managing the stall by himself. It's an enormous accomplishment and I'm incredibly proud of what he’s achieved.”

Dagim: first a Riser, now a Breadwinner!

Dagim: first a Riser, now a Breadwinner!

British Red Cross features our newest Breadwinner!

In September 2019, our newest offical Breadwinner Dagim was featured in the British Red Cross Life Magazine. He recently graduated from the Risers programme and has gone on to become a fully-fledged, employed member of the Breadwinners crew!

Here is a short excerpt from that article and a quote about his experience at Breadwinners as a young Riser:

“Dagim, 18, from Eritrea, has been taking part in the programme after joining our Hammersmith project. He says “I’ve learnt so much customer service and talking to new people, and I have two certificates that will help me in the future. It’s been a very nice experience for me.”

Ali, 17 is a graduate of the Breadwinners Risers Programme

Ali, 17 is a graduate of the Breadwinners Risers Programme

Why the Risers Programme raises our spirits

“I left Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia after studying at a high school for 2 years. I could not go back home to Iran because of my sexual orientation and my conversion to another religion.”

I joined the amazing Breadwinner’s family and went through their Risers’ programme for two months. I had the chance to meet new people and make new friends and also gain my first work experience in Britain.

After completing the Risers’ programme, I feel more confident with interacting with local people and gained a lot of transferable skills. My mentor of course, had a very important role in these two months, she helped me with my future plans and encouraged me to experiment new things and go further in my life!”

“I am now a Business level three student at WKC and planning to set-up my own business aimed at elimination of homelessness in the United Kingdom and to take a step towards the betterment of the world we live in.”

Jamal at “We Love Cheese” festival in Battersea Park.  @hansonimages

Jamal at “We Love Cheese” festival in Battersea Park. @hansonimages

Jamal prepared a speech for his Risers programme graduation day!

“I cannot tell you how thankful I am for Breadwinners and its staff and Dost Centre. If there is a Nobel Prize for best team I am sure Breadwinners and Dost Centre would get it. Thank you for being such an amazing team and a true inspiration. I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your training, it was fun and I learned a lot from you.

My greeting also goes to my wonderful Breadwinner volunteer mentor Laura. Being a mentor means so much more than just giving out advice. It means truly caring for me to guide me through difficult times and making us understand our precious value. You have done all of this for me and I will always be thankful. Thank you for providing me with all of the knowledge and moral support that I need to be able to face my future, you will always be my best mentor.

Marian (Dost Centre) - any amount of thanks would not be enough, therefore, I am just passing you my best wishes and you know that our future is brighter because of you.

For Orville (Key Worker), Andrew (Social Worker), and Cass (Manager); Words could never express my gratitude to you for truly caring and being there for me. Thank you for teaching me lessons that I will carry throughout my life journey.”


Diwa doing work experience at the Breadwinners stall.

Diwa doing work experience at the Breadwinners stall.

Diwa writes about her Work Experience as part of the “Risers Programme”

My name is Diwa. I’m 18 years old and I came to the UK from Afghanistan about a year ago. There is a big difference between life in Afghanistan and the UK. The lifestyle is very different here.

I needed work experience but I couldn’t find any, until I heard about Breadwinners. I’m very grateful to Breadwinners as they helped me a lot to get work experience. I’m very happy with the work that I’m doing here and feel very lucky.

When I first started my work experience it was very hard for me. But as I started to learn and understand the work, I found confidence in myself.

If you guys want to find work experience too, get in touch with Breadwinners. They are very kind and helpful people and they will help you a lot!

Thank you Breadwinners for everything!  

Diwa 🍞

Khaled had his first UK job at Breadwinners Victoria Park Market Stall

Khaled had his first UK job at Breadwinners Victoria Park Market Stall

How Bread helped Khaled start his new life in London

“When I started here, I didn’t understand English, I didn’t understand anything about types of bread,” he says. “But now, everyday I am learning, slowly, and I am understanding more and more.”

“I miss my country,” Al Hussein says. “All my family and friends are in Syria, they would come to my house, speaking, joking, having fun. But Breadwinners helps, I’m settling here as I speak with people all the time. I’m learning English, and I can understand how jobs work here.”

“I have now two families, one family in Syria, one in London.”

There’s something special about being at the bustling market each week, forming relationships with fellow traders and regulars, khaled says.

Read the full article on Munchies VICE and get to know Khaled.

Ghazal working at the Breadwinners stall.

Ghazal working at the Breadwinners stall.

Asylum seeking and conscious eating

Charities, such as Breadwinners are hoping to make the road to employment less of a challenge by training those seeking asylum and employing those who already have refugee status.

“We are really small, very grassroots charity,” says Martin Cosarinsky Campos, the director of Breadwinners“. We have four markets, we support six people, actually we support 13 people in total, six people with employment, refugees that have status, we can employ them, and then we support seven young people that are claiming asylum in the UK. Basically what we do is give them the first opportunity of work or work experience in the UK.”

Ghazal is one of those refugees. Hailing from Syria, Ghazal was living in Aleppo and considering studying for a master’s degree, but the war in her city prevented that goal from being realised. She left for Damascus to join her family, but again, the war prevented her from staying.

Read the full article on Artefact and get to know the amazing Ghazal.


Safe but not free: How the UK has capped the dignity of people seeking asylum

Despite Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights holding the right to dignity to be indispensable, this is not a reality for thousands of people seeking asylum in the UK. Imagine having to flee your home, and, upon finding sanctuary, you are forced by law to put your life on hold for years while bureaucratic structures decide your fate. Your confidence diminishes and your skills deteriorate while you remain dependent on small handouts provided by the same system that has limited you in the first place. You want to work and provide for yourself and your family, to live a dignified life, but you are told to just wait.

At its core, Breadwinners supports refugees to build the foundations for a career by developing their skills, confidence and language abilities. A key pillar in the Breadwinners’ mission is to support greater ease in integration for people upon being granted refugee status in the UK…

Read the full article on No Walls from Nahzley Anvarian & Charlotte Gallagher of Breadwinners.

Ahmed and Martin selling bread at Primrose Hill Market

Ahmed and Martin selling bread at Primrose Hill Market

Supporting refugees one loaf of bread at a time

How can bread help refugees settle in the UK? By providing them with bread so that they can survive on a daily basis, you would think… No, it’s by giving them the opportunity to sell organic artisan bread at markets all around London. This is the main idea behind Breadwinners, a charity set up in 2016. Breadwinners aims to use the potential of talented refugees to build up their work experience and enter employment once they’ve been granted refugee status and therefore the right to live and work in the UK.

Ahmed Osmani, a 51 year old refugee from Egypt, is one of the beneficiaries of Breadwinners. Having worked in import and export of fruit for over 20 years when he was still living in Egypt, Ahmed is now grateful for the opportunity he gets thanks to Breadwinners to build up his work experience at the market stalls in London…

Read the full article on On-Purpose and get to know the amazing Ahmed Osman.

I tried to find job but they refused me. Breadwinners accepted me and supported me. I learn from breadwinners how I can start my business again. I left breadwinner now to do my business but I am breadwinner in my heart.
— Ahmed Osman, Ex Breadwinner at Primrose Hill. current entrepreneur
It’s great to earn money but most importantly the people and the atmosphere at the Market is great!
— Mohamad, Ex Breadwinner at Victoria Park. current chef