Baking school on the rise for Park Hill autism centre

IT’S the dawn of a new era for Action in Autism as the centre was recently donated a property from which to operate its baking school.

Although the project is still very much in its inception phase, acting director for AiA, Liza Aziz, is extremely optimistic about it and is calling on the community to help take the baking school to the next level.

“Our Shahumna Centre at Action in Autism is a skills development hub which equips our students with the skills they need to one day work in a corporate company or to start a small business of their own. This is where they learn to bake. Our past students have graduated from the three-year programme, and we are currently teaching the next group of students,” said Aziz.

“There are renovations that need to be done and we’re fortunate to have an architect and quantity surveyor on board to get that started. We do need assistance from the community with regards to equipment and training to bring our vision to life,” she said.

“We are looking for people who can sponsor their time and teach our students different baking techniques and how to run a business,” added Aziz.

The plan for the baking school, which is yet to be named, will be to provide baked goods for sale. There are also plans in the future for a coffee shop, as well.

“We are so excited about the baking school, but we need buy in from the community to help get us there,” she said.

Speaking about the past students who have graduated, Aziz said the challenge was placing them in the working world.

“They can’t find jobs. It seems employers have a fear of employing people with disabilities or an autistic person. They fail to realise that they’ll be creating diversity in the workplace and adding another element of thought to their business,” she said.

The sponsor behind kickstarting the centre’s dream is Dr Adam Mohammed who bought a house next door to Action in Autism where the baking school will operate from. The handover took place in January.

“I invested in autistic people because I believe in their potential to enrich the workplace and make it an inclusive space. These young people will be skilled to become bakers and enter the job market, or they can set up micro businesses.

“If we do not invest in our youth, and more especially those with disabilities, the future will look very bleak,” he said.

If you would like to assist the baking school, call 031 563 3039 or 083 777 4468 or email