My name is Merle Collett, and I'm a Yard and Warehouse Assistant at Glasgow Wood. I originally joined in 2017 where I volunteered in the workshop.
I first signed up at to volunteer at Glasgow Wood through Project Scotland. I really liked the sound of the organisation and the ethos behind it. At first, I was in the office, but I was given the opportunity to go into the workshop, which was great. I enjoyed that a lot – I learned a lot about woodworking and it helped with my confidence. I felt really supported as a volunteer.
When I was in the workshop I was mostly helping to make the bespoke stuff. So furniture made to order such as bookshelves and units. Learning in the workshop is a really great experience. There’s so much wealth of knowledge that’s passed on in a really genuine way.
I heard about the Community Jobs Scotland opening through Glasgow Wood. A job had felt quite in the distance for me – because of my health. But this role seemed really perfect because it was 16 hours. I was volunteering 2 days a week here anyway so I felt capable of that. It was something that I wanted to do and felt confident within. The job is great because the CJS jobs are specifically set up for people that are in my sort of position.
Within the job, I’m working in the bays, which are mainly used for storage. I’m organising the wood: drying it, sorting it – it’s all the ‘pre’ stuff – before it reaches the workshop.
I’ve learned loads of skills in my time here. Practically – in the workshop with woodworking – but also social skills, being a part of a team & working with other people in collaborative ways. I’ve also passed the forklift driving training course. Learning useful skills to feel a valuable part of something – I think that’s a big achievement!
I think there’s a strong sense of community and, almost, family here. People are working together for shared goals. And I think the practical thing of ‘selling stuff’, works really well because people are here for a purpose.
I think there’s space for lots of different people to be here. It feels valuable just to be an individual that might have different skills and different understandings of things. So I guess I’ve made a difference at Glasgow Wood just by being myself!
Designs on Growth
These volunteer interviews were conducted as part of ‘Designs on Growth’ – our in-house design project funded by the Scottish Government and European Union. Volunteers are at the heart of what Glasgow Wood Recycling does – so we wanted to update our print and digital marketing materials with new volunteer stories!
The Social Economy Growth Fund gave backing to 22 charity groups and community organisations across the country – with our social enterprise receiving a grant of over £100,000 to support our progression and create three new posts.