I started working in The Cookie Bar when it opened back in 2011 and my son was a student at Stepping Stones School. Since then, he has continued his journey through education and is now at College studying for A levels but I have stayed on.

I love the happy working environment here and I find it so rewarding to help other children on their journeys.

I love the happy working environment here and I find it so rewarding to help other children on their journeys.

Alison Johnson

Children work with us during the day as part of their school week. The older students are also able to work at the weekends and during the holidays, which enables them to earn some money and gain valuable independence. In the supported work environment that the Cookie Bar offers, they can enhance their social skills, learn about business and finance, develop kitchen skills…and have fun whilst they do it!

Debbie works with one of the children.

Today, some of the students have been working with us in the shop. As well as providing social interaction, we try to introduce mathematical skills into our day: weighing ingredients, counting cookies and dealing with money.

On top of this, of course, we’re getting ready for Christmas so there’s the Christmas tree to be decorated, shelves to be stocked and gingerbread cookies to bake.

Tomorrow, I’ll be in early to bake cookies for us to send out to one of our new corporate investors. We provide contract cookies to businesses on a regular basis, which has a high profitability and, with 50% of the profits invested back into Stepping Stones, helps us to continue our work with the children. The other 50% of profits is invested into other COINS Foundation projects, which the children understand and feel proud that their contribution in the Cookie Bar is also helping people elsewhere.

In the meantime, thanks to the children, our shop is now ready for Christmas.

Merry Christmas from all at the Cookie Bar!