The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is funding up to 200 Veterans in the North East and North Yorkshire in long-term woodworking skills training as part of their Positive Pathways Programme. The ‘Woodworking Warriors’ project will be delivered over the next two years by Veterans Woodcraft from their Richmond, North Yorkshire workshop as well as out in surrounding rural areas to enable those in isolated communities to participate and benefit.
Initial ‘taster workshops’ will give Veterans the opportunity to meet the team, explore the workshop and be introduced to various woodworking and wood art disciplines including wood turning, scroll saw work, intarsia, pyrography, wood carving, cabinet making, chair making, CNC work, plus general carpentry and joinery. The CNC work involves developing CAM and CAD software skills, giving those that are not comfortable using hand or power tools another option. Also, the shave horses and foot driven pole lathes can be taken out to the countryside into wooded areas where Veterans have the opportunity to work away in the peace and tranquillity of their natural surroundings.
Three ‘drop-in’ workshops per week will run where participants can try as many disciplines as possible, after which a programme will be designed specifically for them. The advantage of participating in ‘Woodworking Warriors’ is that this long-term programme can make a real difference to those who would like to progress their skills much further than normal shorter-term programmes allow.
As well as learning new skills, the benefits to Veterans’ mental health are enormous. In the words of one Veteran describing the team at Veterans Woodcraft, “They give a person purpose, friendship, a sense of belonging, and finally being able to look forward to tomorrow and not dread it.”
Some work will involve carrying out projects in local communities for local communities as well as some commercial work and commissions.
If you are interested, or if you know a Veteran who may benefit, please get in touch.