Founded in 2018, Woodshed Workshop is a Community Interest Company that supports its service users with practical training and education to develop woodcraft and trade skills, enabling them to participate in real workshop-to-retail projects. This enhances and consolidates their employability skills while also engendering a sense of value and self-worth: helping them to build the confidence and soft skills that are crucial to success in employment and in everyday life. The team designs and creates high quality wood furniture and products through innovative use of reclaimed, recycled, reused, and ethically and locally sourced wood.
Woodshed Workshop has a strong focus on supporting the long-term unemployed, young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), those with disabilities, and those who are, or who are at risk of being socially isolated. Based in Sacriston - County Durham, the team seeks to address social issues in the local area by engaging young people with their services and reconnecting them to their local community in a positive way.
With support from the Foundation, Woodshed Workshop now offers an accredited qualification alongside all of the other activities that take place to enable marginalised young people to enter meaningful employment or to access further training/education and to raise their aspirations. The young people engage in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development (SETPD), with sector specific units in construction. Training is delivered at a person-centered level, with options from Entry Level Three through to Level Two, with Awards, Certificates and in the longer-term Diplomas achieved. This will create a full education offer for those of varying abilities, starting points, progression aims and exit strategies.
The team supports low numbers in order to deliver flexible and tailored support, achieving high quality over quantity. To date, the team has worked with over 150 people, many of whom have progressed to further training, education or into secure, rewarding employment.
In 2021, the Foundation supported Woodshed Workshop further with an emergency cash flow grant, due the reduction of traded income caused by COVID-19 and the lock down measures taken. From this support, Woodshed Workshop was able to fundraise further and has successfully stabilised operations. The Foundation continues to work with the team ongoing.