Project information

Prior's Court Autism Bakery Employment Project

The Prior's Court Autism Bakery Employment Project will enable those most severely affected by their autism at Prior's Court and in the local community to learn, practice, develop and use employment skills in a real commercially viable workplace environment.

January 2018 - April 2018

Charity information: Prior's Court Foundation

Prior's Court Foundation logo
  • Need


    National statistics show that only 16% of adults with autism are in full-time paid employment. For those with severe autism real employment opportunities are almost non-existent.
    Prior's Court is ambitious for the young people we educate and care for and we are looking to create real workplace and employment opportunities for young people severely affected by their autism so they can live as independent, inclusive and meaningful a life as they are able.


    By establishing a commercially viable Bakery onsite which is specially designed to be accessible to those severely affected by their autism, we will be able to offer the widest possible range of opportunities for real work placement learning and employment. The accessible model will offer a range of workplace opportunities from basic understanding to professional skill development and will include paid employment opportunities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create a Bakery onsite which combines commercial baking and autism best practice


    » Renovate part of an existing building onsite to create Bakery
    » Specially equip the new Bakery with carefully selected equipment and workplace areas which are flexible and adaptable
    » Structure the environment within the Bakery to meet the communication and learning needs of those with autism

    What success will look like

    Within one year we will have an established Bakery which is capable of producing 1200 products a week and is fully accessible to those severely affected by their autism

    Aim 2

    Establish the Bakery as a viable business


    » Recruit and employ a Master Baker and a Baker's Assistant
    » Test the product range
    » Market the product range to customers onsite
    » Market the product range to customers offsite

    What success will look like

    By the second year of operation production and sales will be sufficient to keep the business viable

    Aim 3

    Provide learning programmes within the Bakery for those with severe autism to enable accreditation


    » Identify appropriate young people to access learning and work placement experiences
    » Assess individual needs and plan learning programmes and work placement activities
    » Implement on-going assessment and monitoring of progress
    » Support with gaining accreditation for new workplace skills

    What success will look like

    By the second year of operation we will support 40 hours of work based learning each week for 30 Prior's Court young people and 5 young people with autism from the local community

    Aim 4

    Provide opportunities for the employment of those with severe autism with the Bakery


    » Identify and structure the job roles
    » Establish a recruitment process from within Prior's Court and the wider local community

    What success will look like

    By the second year of operation the bakery will provide 8 hours of paid work each week for at lease one individual with autism

  • Impact


    Prior's Court Bakery will be a real working environment where young people with autism will be able to engage in learning and employment activities in order to develop specialist skills which link to real employment opportunities both onsite and in the wider community. The model created will be something that can be replicated so commercial businesses can implement ideas and practices which create suitable opportunities to employ those with autism and ensure success for all.


    Not generating sufficient sales - resolved by detailed customer identification and development of a sales plan within the marketing team.
    Not being able to meet demand - recruitment of a professional Baker
    Reputational risk if venture fails - build in quality assurance in all aspects of operation
    Health and Safety incident - detailed risk assessments of processes and of young people; careful choices of bakery equipment
    Retail and Manufacture not core competencies - employ key specialist staff


    Donors will receive regular progress reports at key points in the project - every three - six months during construction and then every six months - one year after that. Donors will be able to visit the project by appointment to see the work first hand.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Building Work Part of the £216,000 total construction costs
  • Background


    Prior's Court Foundation is a charitable organisation based in Berkshire which provides specialist autism services for young people who are profoundly affected by their autism, have learning difficulties and other complex needs. The Foundation is made up of an independent special School, Young Adult Provision and Training and Development Centre, where our specialist knowledge about autism and education is imparted to a local, national and international audience on a regular basis.


    We support children and young adults from across the UK who are the most severely challenged by autism. Our aim is for all of the young people we support to access the Bakery during their time at Prior's Court. We currently support a total of 80 young people in any given year, but with our new accommodation, this will increase to a total of 92. Including those from the local community we are looking to support 103 people severely affected by their autism.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since opening in 1999, Prior's Court has built an international reputation for the quality of support provided to young people with severe autism. we have made significant progress over the years in developing vocational learning. This experience and our ambition to develop these opportunities within a viable business makes us ideally placed to take this project forward.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ruth Over/Staff

    New Services Development - Holds a Masters in Autism and has delivered a number of autism projects including the Prior's Court Young Adult Provision

    Steve Fudge/Volunteer

    Business Development Advisor - Formerly Business Director and Co-owner of Thomas J Fudge Bakers