Free timber to schools – I’m overwhelmed with the response!

In my last blog post, I was appealing for schools local to us to get in touch if they needed some free timber offcuts for use in their woodworking departments and to be honest, I’ve been buried under an avalanche of emails and phone calls! So far three schools have been promised some timber from us but many are missing out.

I would sincerely love to help each and everyone of you out but that would prove impossible, unless I gave you all a couple of pieces of wood each, which, let’s face it, is not going to be of much use to you.

I know from my time at College in the 1990s (Kelsterton College as it was then, now it’s called Deeside College) that the woodworking department there even suffered budget constraints and they were meant to be teaching the next generation of Joiners/Carpenters; things were so bad that at the beginning of the college year, our lecturer would decide what we would be making first by way of the size of the item; biggest first, that way, once it had been finished and marked we would then knock it all apart and make the next item from the list which was a bit smaller – this would continue throughout the college year.

I believe the children are, our future…!

(Moonwalks across workshop!)I cannot believe I’ve just written that title above (pass me the sick bucket!), so corny, but hey ho! There is a shortage of skilled construction workers at the moment, not just Joiners or Carpenters, and is it helped by the fact that schools and Colleges do not have the budgets for a decent supply of timber? After all, if you’ve done a spot of woodwork at school and enjoyed it, then surely you’ll at least think of continuing with it after you’ve left school?

It’s also not helped by previous governments deciding that every child should stay in full time education/ Uni education, which again, leaves a shortage of people willing to take on a manual trade. It’s certainly not a pre-requiste to be able to recite Shakespeare whilst hanging a door, thought I’d look pretty damn good in a codpiece, if I say so myself!

So what can we do about it

So without coming over all Jamie Oliver (school meals, they were great when I was at school, chicken flan, apple crumble and custard being my favourite, though not on the same plate, I should point out!) what can we do about it?

Well, there is the usual ‘take an apprentice on’ but maybe you’ve not got the workload for that at this stage?

What about giving some of your usefully-stored-for-a-rainy-day offcuts away to a woodworking department? Hell no, it doesn’t even have to be timber; run a sewing shop? Give the Home Economics Department (Food Tech these days I think, showing my age!) some fabrics you don’t need. Donate spare ingredients, unloved books or even toys to your local primary school…I’m sure they’ll be grateful for the additional resources!

I’m putting my neck on the line here as since my last post, I’ve got a list of schools who would be glad of a some timber for their woodworking lessons; let’s try and help the next generation of Joiners/Carpenters/Cabinet Makers as potentially they could be your future apprentices.

If you’re local-ish (North Wales) and you’d like to help and would like to be put in touch with some of the schools who have got in touch with us then please get in touch using the form here – Free timber for North Wales schools and I’ll put you in touch with Schools in need of timber.

If you’re from a school and would like to try and take advantage of whatever interest there is out there, again leave your details on the same form here.

I’ve no idea whether I’ll get any response to this but thought I’d give it a go. If you’re reading this then please give it a share and maybe, just maybe, we might just be able to sort something out.

Failing that, then I cannot supply every school with offcuts at once but I shall bear you in mind for the future as and when we’ve built up a decent stock of offcuts, I shall try and get you some timber at some point!