Case Studies

Green Woodworking for All

  • Artform(s):
    Workwork
  • Venue(s):
    Barton Hill Centre
Summary:
The Green Woodworking for All Project takes place at The Barton Hill Centre on the edge of the Black Mountains in Herefordshire.

Project Information

The Green Woodworking for All Project takes place at The Barton Hill Centre on the edge of the Black Mountains in Herefordshire. The project was launched 18 months ago, to add to the many activities which the centre offers. Funded by personalised budgets and external funding, the project offers participants day-long workshops which enable them to use green woodworking as a therapeutic tool to support their wellbeing.

Green woodwork, a traditional form of carpentry, involves working fresh, unseasoned, timber. Very few power tools are used meaning participants learn to use tools and methods that have changed very little over the centuries. All participants, many of whom are experiencing early onset dementia or learning or physical disabilities, are supported by two trained green woodworkers. Participants are free to choose from a variety of projects from making spoons and spatulas to making stools, tables and frame or windsor chairs. Project workers have developed an approach to ensure the process is adapted to suit the needs, interests and the abilities of the individuals, and participants are free to experiment with the materials or make a specific item.

The project is currently working with Remap to adapt tools for people with involuntary or limited movement to ensure that green woodwork is as inclusive as possible.

The project has been incredibly beneficial for people with early onset dementia, and feedback from participants and support workers has indicated that they find the process and the support offered beneficial to their wellbeing.

The project began with a few interested people and now provides a service for 10 people and has involved other staff in the centre and volunteers. The project hopes to expand its Green Woodworking activities and continue to develop tools to ensure more people can participate.

Julie Milsom, Staff:
“…the gentle rhythmic nature of green woodworking, the tactile quality of the materials and the experience of taking a piece of green wood and turning it into a work of beauty using traditional methods is incredibly therapeutic. It presents opportunities for skills sharing and inter generational working and can be taken at a steady pace suited to the individual.”