2018 was another great year for Glasgow Wood Recycling. In this blog we look back at events from last year – and look forward to what 2019 has in store.
A great start to the year with a new grant to allow us to continue to deliver training courses at GWR. After the success of our Making Wood Work employability programme we were committed to continuing to deliver training with a focus more on health and wellbeing – and in particular, reducing the impact of social isolation.
January – April
Developing Wood Unlimited 6 week programme
Work began on developing the Wood Unlimited programme to help people get some structured activity into their week, get out and meet some new people & learn woodworking skills. Our aims are to:
- Get more people active and bridge the gap between individuals and the wider community.
- Link people into groups and activities to promote continued participation beyond the duration of the course.
The first course started with 8 participants and all 8 completed the course and enjoyed the mix of activities. We worked closely with The Conservation Volunteers to bring in elements of outdoor and conservation activities to the course.
Get on your bike
In the summer we got on our bikes for the Glasgow and Clyde Cycle challenge and came second in the team contest with a total of 2643 miles. 15 people took part working out at an average of 176 miles each. To help keep our bikes in working order we also ran a 4 week bike maintenance course with Dei’ils on Wheels to teach our cyclists basic bike maintenance skills.
Our continued efforts to tackle social exclusion and promote sustainability were boosted by the announcement of significant funding from the Scottish Government and European Union for our Designs on Growth project. Our goal is to make 30 well designed, functional products from reclaimed wood. The products are handmade by volunteers in our workshop and are available to purchase. These products will help us generate more sustainable income allowing us to grow our training and volunteer opportunities and skills development program.
Wood Unlimited Community short course
We delivered a Wood Unlimited short course out in the community at Elder Street women’s project in Govan. We were approached by staff at the unit with a request to help them make use of their outdoor space and improve the outside of their project. We were able to spend 6 weeks working with their residents to capture their ideas and help them to build and decorate their own planter boxes.
Awarded funding from Cycling Scotland to complete cycling facilities at GWR
We were lucky to gain some additional funding from Cycling Scotland to complete our bike shelter project and improve facilities for cyclists at GWR. We now have covered bike storage for 16 bikes, changing and drying facilities for our cyclists and a pool bike with equipment to allow people who don’t have their own bike to get involved.
Wood Unlimited short course piloted
The response to the 2 day wood unlimited course has been really positive – but there were some people who indicated that they would like to take part in woodworking activity but were unable to commit to 2 days. In response to this feedback we launched the Wood Unlimited short course allowing people to participate in a gentle introduction to woodworking focusing on the safe use of hand and power tools, wood joining techniques and working on a few simple products.
Awarded funding from JIGSAW to develop taster sessions for referral agencies
We were awarded funding from NHS Jigsaw project to help support people in Yoker & Drumchapel who are experiencing mental ill health and social isolation. We will use this funding to put on taster woodwork sessions for referral agencies working with people experiencing mental ill health in Drumchapel and Yoker – as well as providing our staff team with mental health awareness training.
Impact Arts visited us at Glasgow Wood Recycling as part of their Creative Pathways project. The young people learned how to make planters from recycled wood and then took them to Arthurlie Family Centre to create new greenery for their garden.
We also attended the Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) for the visit of Aileen Campbell MSP & Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government to discuss social enterprises. She was excited to hear about the work of Glasgow Wood Recycling, our training and volunteer programme and our Designs on Growth Project.
Our design team attended the Nice Market at St Silas Church in the West End to soft launch our new small products. The market was a success and it was great to get feedback about our new range from shoppers and other stallholders.
GWR took the team out for a Christmas Lunch of buffet and bowling. In all over 40 people came along and a good time was had by all. It was a lovely way to say thank for all the hard work over the last year making 2018 our most successful to date. In 2018 was an exceptional year for volunteers at GWR as we had 80 active volunteers of which 36 were new to the team. Those 80 people carried out 2409 volunteer days which works out at 16505 volunteer hours. Thanks and well done!
2019 looks set to be another positive year for Glasgow Wood Recycling! Our Designs on Growth project is really starting to take shape now with 13 new products and more in the pipeline. These products will help us generate more sustainable income allowing us to grow our training, volunteer opportunities and skills development program.
We look forward to bringing in more trainees to our Wood Unlimited training course – as well as welcoming new volunteers to Glasgow Wood Recycling. Volunteers are at the heart of Glasgow Wood Recycling, playing an active and valuable role in all aspects of the enterprise.
We have also been nominated for an award! We are finalists in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards within the Sustainability category. The awards are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, celebrating those whose businesses are contributing to economic growth, social and environmental wellbeing. The Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 13 March 2019 in Liverpool – so keep your fingers crossed for us!