26 Mar, 2024 Wood for Thought

A conversation with Peter, the founder of Glasgow Wood

With the help of a diverse and broad-ranging team, Peter has taken The Glasgow Wood Recycling Project a long way since founding the charity and social enterprise way back in 2007.

As he steps into his new role developing and securing Glasgow Wood’s income, we asked Peter a few questions about his time here and what he’s looking forward to next.

Tell us about a moment when you were particularly proud or had seen first-hand the positive impact/s.

“A great delight for me is always when we’re able to support a volunteer into employment, especially here at  Glasgow Wood.

At the moment we have a number of staff who were previously volunteers but I do have a soft spot for Helen, who volunteered and then worked with us a number of years ago. What made this special was the fact she became Glasgow Wood’s very first wood-working apprentice, made all the more special because our work can often be seen to be male dominated.

At the time, she also delighted us all by creating a wonderful garden arbour/archway for a a couple of friends’ wedding.

As the leader of this rather complex, multifaceted organisation, can you recall any particularly challenging moments? What did you take away?

“As social enterprises and charities know only too well, it is always a challenge to maintain finances in a sustainable way and this is a constant task for all organisations to grasp.

When money is tight it’s always a necessity to prioritise the most pressing needs. One particular challenge that sticks out for me was when we had outgrown our premises in Drumchapel. We just had to take a deep breath and invest money in securing extra space, which saw a fourfold rental increase. Thankfully it all worked out, but the nerves were definitely tested for a while….”

Have you got a particularly funny or memorable story to tell us from your time on South Street? Were there any lessons to be learnt?

“There’s too many great moments to recall! But one that always brings a smile was a time in the early days at our site in Drumchapel Community Business Space.

We had very little space and a huge lorry load of scaffold boards appeared and was donated to us. Fortunately, we had a great group of adult learners with us that day from Anniesland College and everyone pitched in to unload these tonnes of wood by hand from the lorry.

Fortunately Liz, our landlady, very generously allowed us to use some car parking space to store the boards!”

Favourite Glasgow Wood product and why?

“Over the years, Glasgow Wood has had so many great people involved in designing and creating some fantastic products.

A product I’ve always liked for it’s simplicity and usefulness is the Seated Planter. In one piece, we have something that adds greenery to our environment and also provides a ready-made communal seating solution that’s built to last.”

We just wished we had more photos of them in action!
Send them here if you’ve purchased one in the past which you’d like to share photos of.

So what’s next for you Peter?

“I’m delighted to still be able to offer something to Glasgow Wood. I’ll be working hard to help bring business and resources in to support our organisation.

At the same time, I’ll be able to spend a wee bit more time with Maggie (my partner) going gallivanting in our wee old camper van!

Peter has played a huge part in the history of Glasgow Wood, and it sounds like he’s sticking around for a wee while longer. We’ve not gotten rid of him yet!

If you have any questions for him, you can contact him here.

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