Woodwork to Wellness will involve people from all ages and different walks of life who are looking for that “something” to do with their spare time in a warm and relaxed environment. Even those, for whatever reason, find themselves in a most difficult place. Perhaps as a result of a major medical incident.
Being creative and learning new skills in a positive way is again rapidly becoming recognised as a leading player in wellbeing and can help in the adjustment to a new life or retirement. Art, writing, storytelling (narrative medicine) and the making or fixing of something in the workshop is truly transformative. A real life changer, often creating new beginnings quickly, sometimes referred to as “a light bulb moment”.
The founder and developer of the Woodwork to Wellness is Graham Stephens who himself is no stranger to helping people make transformative lifestyle behaviour changes. This is what he had to say:
“Life is always a continual journey involving change, one direction is towards the dark (not so good) the other is towards the light; or put another way… the better. This project brings together many of those practical elements that are known to improve a person’s wellbeing and often in “the blink of an eye”. For me there is nothing more rewarding than being witness to such a rapid change in the right direction."
Essentially self-empowered wisdom WILL promote long term SUSTAINABLE systems of everyday wellbeing.
The project is home to over 2,000 sq ft of workshop space. Two work benches are specifically for wheelchair users so that access to the surface of the bench is easy. Each bench can be home to four wheelchairs giving us a daily capacity of eight wheelchair users at any one time. There is a café on-site which is also wheelchair and disability friendly and that too will help towards the long-term sustainability of the project. Many of the items made at the project (if not wanted by the maker) will be sold at the small on-site shop and these will include all manner of items made from wood and other materials. Other key elements involve basic trade skills such as; brickwork, repair plastering, tiling and DIY.
Woodwork to Wellness is now able to offer a comprehensive weekly programme that consists of the following daily groups, some of whom may have a disability in one form or another:-
Monday will be exclusively for the Ladies and will become known affectionately as “Hens in the Hutch”.
Tuesday is an open day to all members.
Wednesday and Thursday will become the Men’s Shed element and will be fully inclusive.
Friday is the young people’s day and will welcome those who are aged 18-25, male or female.
Saturday will be given over exclusively to ex-forces personnel, male or female who are over the age of 18.
Sunday is likely to become an open day for all members.