Crafty project launched to help people carve out a new career

Dudley News: Councillor Alan Finch, Mayor of Dudley at the opening of Woodside Crafts. L - r Neil Badger (member of Woodside Crafts), Wendy Eason (member of Woodside Crafts), Cllr Alan Finch, Mayor of Dudley and Chris George (Woodside Crafts) Councillor Alan Finch, Mayor of Dudley at the opening of Woodside Crafts. L - r Neil Badger (member of Woodside Crafts), Wendy Eason (member of Woodside Crafts), Cllr Alan Finch, Mayor of Dudley and Chris George (Woodside Crafts)

A CRAFTY project to help people with mental health problems gain skills and self-esteem has been launched in Dudley.

Woodside Crafts is a new social enterprise which sells hand-made wooden crafts and garden furniture made by the borough’s Mental Health Service users.

The initiative was funded with help from a £9,000 cash injection from Dudley Council’s community innovation and enterprise fund and aims to help people gain access to employment.

Martin Marston, director and chairman of Woodside Craft, said: “We are so grateful to the council for backing our project – without it we would never have got it off the ground. At the moment we’ve got 44 young people and adults who are learning woodcraft and retail skills and building up their self-esteem while breaking down the stigma of mental health issues.

“They are turning out some fantastic products – everything from bird tables, planters, and decorative Christmas items, to bespoke table centrepieces for a wedding. “ The project was officially opened by the Mayor of Dudley, councillor Alan Finch.

Cllr Finch said: “This is a fantastic initiative that provides a win/win for the people of Dudley. Shoppers can bag themselves a unique gift while supporting people who are looking to create a brighter future for themselves.”

The funding for Woodside Crafts came from Dudley Council’s £250,000 community enterprise fund whish has already dished out £118,000 to social enterprises which benefit the community.

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