Shoreditch Trust | Health, wellbeing, and opportunities for people in Hackney Menu
Health & Wellbeing

Blue Marble Socials

Workshops and groups for 11-16 year olds

Blue Marble Socials are open to young people aged 11-16 in Hackney and its neighbouring boroughs. They comprise themed workshops that follow the ‘cook and eat’ model used by our Community Table project. Participants learn to prepare a recipe together, then enjoy the meal over a group discussion.

Recipes are cooked as a group with facilitation from staff and our very own Blue Marble Trainee chefs. The staff and trainees provide support and technical guidance to participants, enabling young people to develop confident and creative baking and cooking skills.

Blue Marble Socials also facilitate conversation – a key aspect of the workshops. Participants are encouraged to share personal experiences and thoughts about their community, through their own lens as young people living London.

All young people aged 11-16 are welcome. The activity may be of additional benefit to those who: 

  • Are living in care (40% BMT trainees in 2017-18 were or had been looked after children) 
  • Are living in areas of high multiple deprivation 
  • Are in the youth justice system
  • Are experiencing isolation
  • Have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Blue Marble Socials are supported by Worshipful Company of Bakers through their Benevolent Fund.

Introduction to Baking

The ‘Introduction to Baking’ course is composed of 7 workshops, each with a key theme or area. In addition to the ‘cook and eat model’ described above, the sessions employ a narrative therapy model during baking activities.

About Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy recognises life challenges as part of a journey of development, rather than as life defining, supporting the integration of difficult experiences into a whole identity.

The approach provides participants with opportunities to inform, to connect with others, to share outlooks and experiences, and explore their own thoughts and feelings.

About ACT

The programme’s narrative therapy approach has been augmented by the introduction of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of counselling, and a branch of clinical behaviour analysis. This empirically-based psychological intervention uses acceptance and mindfulness techniques mixed with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.

The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; but to be present with what life brings and to "move toward valued behaviour". Acceptance and commitment therapy invites people to open up to unpleasant feelings, to not avoid situations where these feelings are invoked, and to temper strong reactions to unpleasant feelings.

These combined approaches dovetail with the pace of baking activities, allowing for wider conversation and reflection.


To refer a young person to the programme email: or call: 020 7033 8501 or 020 7033 8587.