Forward Assist (www.Forwardassist.com)
Veterans Wood Craft delivered wood turning and wood carving training to Forward Assist Clients by taking wood turning lathes and carving tools to their centre to work with the older veterans, to try and encourage them to take an interest in wood working activities. One particular veteran wanted further training with wood carving, with requests to return on a regular basis. Transport is our major problem in delivering further training to the veterans of Forward Assist.
The Beacon Project (www.riverside.org.uk/thebeacon)
This is a project to help homeless veterans who have been living on the streets for a period of time. Building up self-confidence and self-esteem are priorities when we work with the residents at the Beacon.
Over a period of 14 months VWC have delivered wood carving courses, wood turning and recently helped residents build a memorial garden in the grounds. The building of the memorial garden enabled the VWC team to bring together residents who, after a short period of encouragement, started to work as a team. We built the memorial garden but the real result was the team building that we achieved and certainly changed attitudes towards one another.
One of the former female residents at the Beacon is now working as one of the team members for Veterans Wood Craft. Space at the Beacon is limited, to continue further training we are working towards having our own workshop set up with full training facilities.
Next Steps. (www.nextstepsryedale.co.uk )
Next Steps is a civilian organisation working with people with mental health issues. The VWC team delivered basic wood working skills to this wonderful group of people in the Malton/Pickering area of north Yorkshire. It was a big challenge to the team as is was the first time we had worked with civilians. The success/results of these training sessions was a huge improvement in the confidence and social skills of the clients, and new friendships established amongst themselves. The result of delivering this training for the VWC team was a better understanding that mental health issues are very similar whether military or civilian. The training sessions also boosted the veteran’s confidence considerably. Transport is also a problem to deliver more training.
Blind Veterans UK(www.blindveterans.org.uk)
Veterans Wood Craft spent a week with Blind Veterans UK at their North Wales Centre in Llandudno. This was our greatest challenge and possibly our greatest achievement and certainly the most rewarding
The VWC delivered Scroll Saw Work, Pole Lathe Green Wood Turning, and CNC/IT training to veterans, both male and female, who were visually impaired or totally blind.
VWC had use of the purpose-built workshop to deliver CNC training and scroll saw work. We delivered pen making on the electric lathe. Outside I set up the pole lathe and shave horse. We had 10 students on the course and everyone turned an item on the pole lathe, made at least one pen, produced a fruit bowl with the scroll saw and at least one item on the CNC equipment – house names/numbers.
Both students and VWC team had huge boosts in confidence. Such was the enjoyment of the green wood working Blind Veterans UK have set aside an area to build a ‘Bodgers camp’ for the veterans. We have asked to help with the project, but again transport is an issue.
The overall result for VWC is that we now have the confidence to work with visually impaired veterans or civilians, and it is hoped that we will be doing further work with visually impaired veterans in the North particular those who, for whatever reason, cannot attend either Llandudno or Brighton.
Trafford Veterans Breakfast Club(www.Themess.org.uk)
Have just started work with the Trafford Veterans, which includes both military and emergency service veterans. This organisation is run by two veterans who are also former members of the Emergency Services – Police and Fire Brigade. We have been asked to deliver wood craft training to the veterans, especially to the emergency services long-term sick. We have attended a breakfast club over in Manchester and are working out a suitable training programme that we can deliver.