We’re happy to announce that our longest serving service user has now found employment, we’re all sad to see him go, but we couldn’t be more proud of the progress he’s made over his time here and happy that he’s now able to start the next chapter of his life.

Christmas has come early to the workshop thanks to the huge kindness and generosity of Peter Brealey and Rotary Becket, as we now have a brand new band saw. The saw will allow us to reduce working time usually spent hand sawing and also allow us the flexibility to take on other more technical projects, that would be too onerous to undertake by hand (photos to follow when we have it all set up).

We still have lots of old garden tools being donated, helping us to stay well stocked.

We’re also still receiving plenty of customer refurbishment jobs which have been keeping us busy throughout the month, with some really interesting projects coming in (some photos below). We once again took some time out to visit our friends over at the Horti-Hub at the Beehive in Northgate Academy, where we saw some of the great work they continue to do there whilst also stocking up their shelves with tools that they kindly sell on our behalf. So, if you need any tools ready for summer, plants, or home decorations please head over there and support a great local community organisation.

We carried on working to increase capacity and make best use of our space in the workshop, by making some much needed changes to the layout. We have now two more benches we can use, giving us four more workspaces as the groups grow. We still need to fit some bench vices to increase their utility (which we’ll do after our holiday), but it’s definitely a much more usable space now and after moving, sorting and reorganising the donations area it’s also much more organised.

As the months seem to pass us by at an accelerated pace, we are ramping up the employability training for our workshop assistant, who is due to finish his contract with us in early July. He’s part of a funded scheme by the Job Centre to help people to gain experience in a supportive environment, in the hope of helping to “Kickstart” their employment prospects and taking our responsibility to help a local young person we’ve been hard at work helping him to gain confidence, improve his C.V, determine his future career path, take steps to get into his chosen industry and even manage his finances. There’s still a lot left to do, but he’s making great progress and we’re sure he’s going to have a great future once he moves on from our nest.

We’re closing April off a bit early as we take a couple of weeks off to visit sunny Cornwall, so we will see you all back in May.

Our new workshop layout (the new working area on the left).







A now much more organised tool donation area.
A now much more organised tool donation area.

Right – ours truly removing the rust off a very old (and very large) axe that a customer wants refurbished along with some other tools, to remember his late father. I’ll keep you posted with some more photos (after my holiday) when it’s finished.

Left – Another very old rusty axe that came in without a handle, that’s now good as new and ready for new lease of life.