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Lockdown: it’s been a challenge and an opportunity!

Published: Thursday, 4th March 2021

A Barrowford baker sets up a new  business during lockdown

David Webb who has risen to the challenge of a new baking business during lockdown.

“Lockdown and other restrictions have brought their challenges to a Barrowford family, but they’ve also brought exciting new opportunities,” said Councillor Mohammed Iqbal MBE, Leader of Pendle Council.

David and Sara Webb have two daughters and last year their youngest, Hannah, aged 12, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed.

Sara said: “She currently has no immune system, which makes her extremely vulnerable to the virus, so as a family we have to be extra vigilant in shielding her from any germs.”

Hannah is having regular treatment at Alder Hey Hospital and Sara said that while they are doing an incredible job in tough circumstances, it is heart-breaking to see so many young people suffering.

“Hannah and other young people being treated at the hospital can’t have the vaccination as they’re under 16, so it’s up to us adults to protect them in whatever way we can,” said Sara.

“Everyone needs to get vaccinated so that those who can’t are kept safe.”

Because of Sara's job as a teacher at a specialist school, she has had her first vaccination.

And now David, as Hannah's carer, has had his too.

They are urging everyone to roll up when it’s their turn!

While living with Hannah’s illness has been tough on the whole family, having to stay home sparked dad David to embark on his own baking business and he already has lots of supporters!

He said: “I’ve always loved baking and cooking, but with my wife being a teacher it always made more sense for me to be at home with Sophie and Hannah when they were young,” said David.

I had worked in the catering industry at Turners Café Bar and made bread for the White Swan at Fence.

But the hours were difficult with a young family, so when they started school, I took a job as a Teaching Assistant at Barrowford Primary School.

Cooking and baking remained his passion though, particularly sourdough bread which he loved making for family and friends.

And he still dreamed of having his own business.

With that in mind he had already cut back his classroom hours and done some freelance work for Paul’s Kitchen and Burnley Leisure, but then lockdown hit.

Some might have given in at that stage, but David thought being at home with the girls gave him the perfect opportunity to finally follow his passion.

It turned out to be a good move as when The Cheeky Carrot Company in Barrowford opened its doors in September, they asked David to supply all their artisan breads and a range of cakes.

“The pandemic has taken me on a route I’ve always hesitated to take in case it affected my family.

 My baking enables me to work from home at a time when the family needs  me.

When not in the kitchen, David is busy cooking up lots of new ideas for the business and he is also considering running lessons for other would-be bread bakers.