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We are a community group of green woodworkers based at Abney Park Cemetery. We work in partnership with Hackney Council and Abney Park Trust who have given us a free outdoor workshop space. From here, working outside, using hand tools and using wood felled locally, we bring heritage crafts into the heart of the city and make basic woodcraft skills available to all, using green wood straight from the log and hand tools. At our workshop people of all backgrounds and levels of experience learn and practice woodwork alongside one another. Our aim is to give people skills and confidence; to connect them with their own innate creativity; and to help them to discover the joy of making with their hands. We want to buy new tools and equipment to develop the offering at our workshop, including promoting endangered heritage wood crafts and related skills such as leatherwork and blacksmithing.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
We are building community by bringing diverse people together to be creative alongside each other, fantastic friendships have been formed. We are promoting wellbeing. Visitors to the workshop regularly report huge theraputic benefits and satisfaction from working with wood outdoors in a nature environment. By working with locally grown wood we help people to engage with the woodland at Abney Park and more broadly with environmental issues. By giving people new skills we are protecting heritage crafts. We are part of a global craft revival movement and an increased interest in provenance and quality across all sectors from woodwork to woollens, ceramics to coffee, bread to beer. We are providing meaningful and on-going opportunities to learn crafts rather than just to experience craft as a consumer item.
Steps to get it done:
London Green Wood was formed in 2011 by a group of volunteers with the intention of keeping a green woodwork workshop running at Abney Park Cemetery. We have been running a community workshop since then, providing a free space for people to practice green woodwork. We also teach courses for adults and families, work with a regular home schooling group, work in partnership with other community groups (in 2017 we ran projects for Skyway Youth Club and Mind in Haringey), and demonstrate green woodwork and run have-a-go activities at local events (in 2017 we were at two Abney Park Open Days, Mildmay Festival of Nature, Stoke Newington Common Funday, Highgate Woods Community Day and Hornsey Alt Xmas Fair). Demand has grown steadily since we started, in 2017 we welcomed 172 new participants to the workshop, taught a total of 50 courses and registered 551 woodworking attendances. We have already secured match funding from the Worshipful Company of Turners to run monthly volunteering days.
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