Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Mike Harris of Sussex Freemasons (centre), beside Ron (holding the certificate), with James, Victor and Ronald at the back.

HFS launches mobile training

With the support of Sussex Freemasons, Hastings Furniture Services has set up a mobile workshop to take training opportunities to people unable to come to them, as the charity reports.

The Workshop on Wheels (WoW) will be visiting community groups in Hastings and Rother thanks to a £10,000 grant from Sussex Freemasons. The project will make DIY and craft activities accessible to people who might not otherwise get the chance to learn these skills, including isolated and excluded people who lack the confidence or funds to attend town centre courses.

The large WoW van has been customised with work benches and tool cupboards so that tutors can provide practical activities such as repairing furniture, making items from scrap wood and craft projects.

Taking part in these kinds of activities can boost health and wellbeing, and the small neighbourhood groups will be a great way for people to meet their neighbours and get to know others. For many, making or repairing something for their home is deeply meaningful activity that increases confidence and hope for the future.

“Coming to the workshops is good fun,” says Kim, an HFS learner. “It’s a small group of like-minded people with a great tutor. We’ve supported each other to learn new skills. I’ve enjoyed getting more creative at home and I feel better in myself.”

The grant from Sussex Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, across England and Wales.

“We’re very pleased to be able to help Hastings Furniture Service,” said Mike Harris of Sussex Freemasons. “The Workshop on Wheels project is an excellent way to teach isolated and excluded people valuable new skills, while at the same time reducing loneliness and ill health.”

“We’ve been offering training courses in Hastings and Bexhill for many years, and we’re really pleased to have found a way to help more people enjoy taking part, without the difficulty or expense of travelling to us,” said HFS’s Naomi Ridley. “We’re very grateful to the Sussex Freemasons for supporting the Workshop on Wheels so that the sessions can be totally free for local residents.”

HFS, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, is a local furniture reuse charity and social enterprise which collects donations of reusable furniture and electricals throughout Hastings and Rother, making them available at affordable rates for people with low incomes and those setting up home.


Posted 17:51 Saturday, Dec 22, 2018 In: Grassroots

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