Positive People has teamed up with our specialist learning disability training team to offer a fantastic new woodwork volunteering project.
Our brand new project ran for nine weeks with the aim of offering Positive People participants basic woodwork training and voluntary work at our specialist learning disability woodwork training unit in Plymouth.
A wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends, one of the loveliest moments was making a sturdy potting table for a local school which, when presented to the students, was welcomed with an almighty cheer. It absolutely made our budding woodworkers’ day.
So how did this unlikely partnership come about? Our learning disability unit in Plymouth delivers training and employment support to over 80 people with learning disabilities which includes the manufacture of beautiful, bespoke wooden furniture and gifts such as planters, bird boxes and tables.
The team are always on the look out for volunteers to help support our trainees to create new products. So it seemed the perfect partnership to team up with volunteers from our Positive People programme. Both teams were able to support each other to gain new skills, make new connections and simply enjoy themselves in a warm, creative environment.
Our budding woodwork volunteers, had a chance to hone their skills by working on their own projects.
Paul took an old un-loved table and turned it into a unique, trendy coffee table that he said will go perfectly in his living room. Paul explained that it was familiar ground for him, saying “My dad used to do a lot of woodwork when I was young”. He also described the workshop as a “lovely environment” and that it is “something to look forward to”.
Louise built her cat box in just three six-hour sessions. “I now feel confident with the drill, I’ve really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t have even known how much I loved it until this, so now I’m going to be volunteering at the workshop”.
Jane had a small alcove at home that she didn’t know how to fill, so she took some of the donated scaffolding planks of wood and turned them into beautiful shelves to fit perfectly into her space. With the time and wood leftover afterwards, she also made a very attractive plant stand that would be snatched up in any shop. The workshop was more than this to Jane, “Everyone gets on so well and it’s really helped with my mental health, having something to concentrate on and keep my brain occupied”.
Not only have the group benefited from the wood working, they have also found common ground with each other and created a bond. “We all talk to each other about our mental health” Jane said. With Louise following on by saying “We help each other”.
In addition, the group undertook ‘Safety in the Workshop’ training, run by Lynher Training, where they learnt to use the more heavy-duty tools and equipment in the workshop. They also engaged in a work experience opportunity to gain knowledge and skills. The opportunity has helped to improve participants confidence and self-esteem which is a vital part of moving forward into employment.
The learning disability training team has been really impressed with the woodworking volunteers from Positive People and are looking forward to them coming on board as longer term volunteers.
Team Manager, Sally Carr, said, “All of the volunteers have shown a real flair for project planning, woodwork and teamwork. It’s been a pleasure to work with them”.
Pluss provides supported employment and training for people with disabilities and also have a wide range of services and products. The training team make and sell woodwork products for the garden and home, run a confidential shredding service, undertake packing and light assembly work, do literature collation, make decorative plaques, Christmas decorations and up-cycle furniture. We also offer a gardening service in the Plymouth area. All the income from sales and services are re-invested back into the service. If you would like to hear more about our products and services, please ring Sally or Rachel on 01752 306558 or email [email protected].