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Bread and Roses

1340. Olivia Head
1341. Sneh Jani-Patel

Olivia Head and Sneh Jani-Patel, from London, founded ‘Bread & Roses’, a social enterprise which has trained over 80 refugee women in floristry, providing them with the space to learn English, develop skills for progressing in the workplace, and build their confidence.

Bread and Roses

Sneh’s interests in refugee rights began as a translator for The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and after meeting Olivia, who formerly worked at a hostel for the homeless in North London with many residents from refugee backgrounds, the pair were inspired to set up an initiative that could provide opportunities for women to not only gain basic employment skills (“bread”), but also learn a craft that would allow them to feel valued and flourish (“roses”). ‘Bread & Roses’ have run 8 programmes, providing 7-week training sessions to refugee women who have been referred from local support services and agencies. All profits from the sale of the bouquets and floral decorations they make support the funding of the training programmes. Olivia and Sneh are currently working to create a new foundation model for the initiative to meet demand and facilitate further programmes across the UK.

Olivia received her award from Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP and Minister for Civil Society Baroness Barran as part of a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport event marking International Women’s Day (pictured below).

Olivia Head with Oliver Dowden MP and Baroness Barran

In a personal letter to Olivia, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how ‘Bread and Roses’ is utilising the intricate skills and creativity of floristry to help female refugees create new opportunities for themselves to flourish.”

In a personal letter to Sneh, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

|I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how your social enterprise ‘Bread and Roses’ is providing a platform for women to build their confidence through floristry training.”

Olivia and Sneh said:

“We’re delighted to receive the Points of Light award in recognition of our work addressing the challenges facing refugee and asylum seeking women rebuilding their lives here. We’re just one small part of the wider ecosystem of support – and our experience has shown us that there’s much more collective work to be done in order to give people from refugee backgrounds a real opportunity to flourish in the UK. We’d like to dedicate this to all the talented, inspiring and brilliant women we’ve worked with along the way at ‘Bread & Roses’!”

See more about ‘Bread and Roses’


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