A Lincolnshire woodland project which helps people learn new skills and improve their mental health is going from strength to strength.
Their green woodworking project opened in early 2023, and nearly 100 people and families have joined for free to learn basic sustainable carpentry.
Old Wood Organic CIC in Skellingthorpe Old Wood offers woodworking on the last Saturday of each month, and also offers free weekly courses such as yoga.
CEO Atmashant Kaur said: “We started this during covid. Both my partner Ben and I lost our jobs, and I was pregnant, and we both really struggled with our mental health and wellbeing.
“So we decided to be active and we came here. This woodland at that time belonged to Ben’s mum. We worked on the land, and it really helped.
“Once my daughter turned one and a half, I started to think about how I could support other people who might be feeling the way we were.”
Old Wood Organic CIC has gone one year since being granted £2500 from the Lincoln Lottery Community Fund. This was given out in 2022, and players of the Lincoln Community Lottery could choose to donate ten pence of their tickets to the cause.
Director of Old Wood Organic CIC, Benjamin Willetts, said: “You can take a piece of wood that would just be lying around on the forest floor and decomposing.
“You can turn it into a treasured object.
“You’ve sequestered that carbon. Each piece that is kept and treasured, you’ve stopped that from entering into the atmosphere.”
Alison Thompson, Lincolnshire Advisor for Natural England, said: “I’ve just had a go at wood turning and I really enjoyed it. It was nice to try the traditional method out in the woods. It’s quite hard work in the ice-cold conditions, but it was really satisfying.
“I think it’s that satisfaction of making something yourself; something that’s natural. Maybe coming along and having a go with other people and learning from other people about the techniques, the equipment and a bit about the woods.”
You can learn more about Old Wood Organic CIC’s work on their website.