From Woodwork To Wellness

A charity which uses creative and exciting activities as a route to helping people through times of difficulty has paid tribute to the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Woodwork to Wellness is a charity supporting people from across North Wales, providing them with the chance to take on a creative activity at a time when maybe they have suffered from a medical incident or the needs to adjust to a life change such as retirement.

The workshop itself is entirely wheelchair friendly and provides visitors with the opportunity to build or help to shape woodwork projects. 

If the finished results are not wanted by the maker, then they are subsequently sold at the online shop.

There are multiple projects taking place at any one time within the Woodwork to Wellness weekly programme, packed with excitement and creativity, and the Steve Morgan Foundation has been delighted to now be two-thirds of the way through a three-year grant.

“This funding has been the primary building block for this sizable craft-based project to get off the ground,” says Graham Stephens,Senior Shed Coordinator and Founder.

“Our project “Woodwork to Wellness” is multi-faceted and is a genuinely all-inclusive initiative.

“The project includes young people, middle-aged people and older members of the communities, male or female. 

“It also welcomes those with disabilities, including those in wheelchairs. 

“Two workbenches are specifically for wheelchair users giving us the capacity for up to eight wheelchair users in any one day.

“Without the level of funding committed by the Steve Morgan Foundation this ambitious project would not have got off the ground and all those members, from every walk of life, including referrals from Lonely and Isolation teams, Drug and Alcohol Teams, Promoting Independence teams and many others would not have achieved the huge advances in their current situation.”

The importance of Woodwork to Wellness can be seen in two confidential case studies put forward by the charity.

One man, who has worked within the music and entertainment industry for 20 years, has been suffering from severe depression, anxiety and PTSD, featuring periods of extreme low self-worth along with feelings of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Initially being escorted to Woodwork to Wellness by his support worker and wife due to extreme anxiety, the friendly and relaxed atmosphere soon ensured he was able to feel comfortable.

“Woodwork to Wellness has helped me feel confident and positive about my own skills and abilities,” he says.

“ It has released and relieved me of the guilt and stigma I have felt about being ill with Mental Health issues.  

“It has also helped my anxiety in social situations, as It has allowed me to meet different people of differing ages and backgrounds in a safe, friendly and supportive environment.

“Without Woodwork to Wellness, I really do not think I would have been able to get this far on my road to recovery, nor even consider and feel strong and confident enough to approach the idea of going back to work or helping others, as I am starting to feel now. 

“I cannot thank Graham and the team at Woodwork to Wellness enough for all of their time and support.”

Another who attends the charity is a man with autism and a mild learning disability, as well as sensory deafness in one year.

He has also suffered with chronic anxiety and acute memory loss, and that anxiety about leaving the house had previously denied him from pursuing a course in woodwork which he had wanted to do.

“I now look forward to attending and enjoy working with Graham and the volunteers,” he says.

“Without the ‘Shed’, I wouldn’t have been able to do enjoy the thought of getting out of the house, do woodwork or also start making friends again. 

“Everyone is very patient with me working one to one and helping me with what I want to make. 

“Although I don’t talk much, everyone listens when I do which is helping my confidence to talk back to them, and I have actually started to look forward to leaving the house.”

Graham says this sense of togetherness has proved so important during the charity’s development.

He added: “Members have made new friends, learned new skills or passed on skills that they possess, gained in confidence and just generally feel better about themselves.

“The Trustees and I will be eternally grateful for giving this project the genuine opportunity to change so many lives for the good. 

“The funding gave this project a real chance of delivering its true potential over time.”

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