Creatives in the Industry: Q&A w/ Sandro from Bake Off

Local community champion and Great British Bake-off finalist Sandro sits down for an exclusive interview

5 January 2023

Written by Shaan Bharkar

Social Ark brought life, energy and warm vibes to the Good Growth Hub, as they gathered their family of social entrepreneurs to celebrate with Sandro and his family the Newham native's success as a finalist on The Great British Bake Off. They came together for an evening of performances and the screening of The Great British Bake Off final. Events like this are something the Good Growth Hub loves to support and be a part of, and we were thrilled to host them.

Social Ark was set up in 2015 to work with talented and resilient young people, from under-resourced East London communities to use their lived experiences to develop their own social businesses. Providing standout programmes of workshops, mentoring, and personalised support. Find out more about Social Ark here.

As a Good Growth Hub alumni, I was excited to have the opportunity to interview the man of the moment.

Q: Can you tell us what it's like to be a proud East Londoner, especially from Newham?

Newham boy on Bake Off, never seen that done before! Newham is now an up-and-coming area and council, and I’m glad to be a part of that. I've made in a sense history whether it is local or national, it's still history. I represent Newham, Stratford, Plaistow, Eastham, Manor Park, Forest Gate, Canning town, and Custom house. I am a real true Newham boy from the start till the very end!

Q: Can you talk to us about your growth journey so far?

I was going through experiences of bullying in school and feeling oppressed. I have taken all my woes in life and made them my wins. I’ve used any weaknesses and challenges and adapted them to who I am today. Now I take life by the horns. I’m not interested in the extra noise. I'm very laser focused and thankfully I have a GREAT team, who are always supporting me, and nothing can be done without a village of people behind me.

Q: How did you get involved with Social Ark?

Social Ark was introduced to me by a dear friend, and it's been one of the best things to happen to me. I was making cakes before and began to build a strong relationship with Lisa – coming up to 8 years now. This has enabled me to further cultivate my craft and begin to build a social enterprise – located in the local community.

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Q: Can you tell us about Baking on a Spectrum?

Baking on a spectrum is all about me putting my passions of baking and autism together to make a change, and to provide equal opportunities for all people over the spectrum. We need to make an impact! They need to have equal rights, be fully paid, and be given secure work placements. Enough is enough, and with this platform, I hope to empower people with autism to shine, and find fulfillment in one of my greatest joys – baking!

Watch highlights from the night below:

A word from Shaan: Special thanks to Sandro, Social Ark and the Good Growth Hub for giving me this opportunity. It was a great experience for me to be a part of, helping me to expand my knowledge, network, and craft moving forward.

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