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Meghan Markle praises London bakery for empowering women

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Almara Abgarian
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Luminary Bakery’s mission is to help economically and socially disadvantaged women through baking and teach them transferable skills that they can be used in the workplace. Most importantly, they empower the women to believe in themselves.

If there are two things we know about Meghan Markle it’s that she is a strong supporter of women and that she likes powerful messages (often displayed on foods).

Earlier this year, while visiting the outreach centre One25 in Bristol - a charity that helps female sex workers - the Duchess of Sussex scrawled uplifting phrases such as “you are brave!” on bananas, which were included in food parcels that were handed out to the women. 

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Meghan regularly uses her social media platforms to share inspiring quotes and to highlight worthy causes, such as Luminary Bakery, a grassroots organisation that helps socially and economically disadvantaged women rebuild their lives through baking.

In a sweet message posted on Instagram earlier today (23 August), Meghan wrote: “What they’ve created at Luminary Bakery is exceptional - it’s a space for baking, healing and rebuilding. 

“When I visited earlier this year I was struck by how the baking, itself, is a means of therapy for these women - which in many ways makes complete sense - feeling they had no control over their lives based on their previous (and often harrowing) circumstances, they found comfort in the measured nature of baking.”

Out of the women who take part, 24% are survivors of trafficking, 78% struggle with mental health problems and 26% have a criminal past.

This isn’t your average bakery; in addition to empowering women to believe in themselves and move on from their past, Luminary also aims to provide them with vital business skills. 

Since opening in 2014, it has supported 66 women through through mentoring and coaching, in order to help them build their careers.

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“The Duchess’ choice to highlight what we do is opening doors and creating more opportunities for women to thrive,” Alice Williams, founder and CEO of the bakery, told Stylist.

“We are extremely grateful to the Duchess for all she is doing to champion Luminary. For many women here, traumatic life experiences have caused them to lose sight of their value. 

“So for her to take the time to get to know us, and use her platform to shine a light on our work, has meant so much to our community.

“The baking process is really mindful, so for women who have experienced trauma, it can be very therapeutic. Being able to get creative in this way is powerful, and seeing the results of your hardwork is also a great confidence boost.”

Williams also revealed that the affirmation cupcakes features in the Meghan’s Instagram post were made by a Luminary Bakery graduate.

Since leaving, the woman has started her own business, called Bake Yourself Better.

Her aim is to promote mental health through baking, with phrases such as “you are enough”, “be kind to yourself” and “you got this” on the cakes. 

Sweet treats and sweet messages? We’re sold.

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Almara Abgarian

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