Volunteers in Hucknall helping to build lives of people with mental health issues

Pictured at Ashfield Community Enterprise are Couns David Walters and Jason Zadrozny (back), with Teresa Jackson, manager of Ashfield Voluntary Action, volunteer Leonard Allchorne, and Gillian Welch, the council's senior community engagement officer.
Pictured at Ashfield Community Enterprise are Couns David Walters and Jason Zadrozny (back), with Teresa Jackson, manager of Ashfield Voluntary Action, volunteer Leonard Allchorne, and Gillian Welch, the council's senior community engagement officer.

Volunteers from around Ashfield, including Hucknall, are giving their time to run a group that helps build the lives of others through woodwork and joinery.

They are assisting people with mental health issues after Ashfield District Council’s community benefit fund awarded a grant of £12,000 to the Ashfield Voluntary Action (AVA) organisation.

The money will be used to help the AVA to continue its work with voluntary groups, most notably Ashfield Community Enterprise.

Based in Stanton Hill, Ashfield Community Enterprise is a programme completely run by volunteers, including from the Hucknall area, that helps people with mental health issues and disablities to gain confidence.

One of the ways the group does this is by encouraging them to develop skills in woodwork and joinery.

The members of the group make use of unwanted pallets by turning them into pieces of furniture, which are then re-sold, with the revenue re-invested back into the programme.

All users of the service are referred by the AVA. When they have completed the woodwork and joinery course, they have the opportunity to return as volunteers to train the next generation.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of the council, was full of praise for Ashfield Community Enterprise and the work it carries out.

He said: “It is a programme that we can be proud of as a community.

“The work Ashfield Community Enterprise is doing runs much deeper than teaching practical skills. It is giving confidence and passing along valuable social skills on to the people that use this programme.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone who wants to be involved.

“It is fantastic for those who struggle with mental health or confidence, or just lack the skills they need to get into the workplace.

“And it is equally fantastic for volunteers who can give their time, meet new people and make a positive contribution to the community,

“We are committed to supporting our communities and are very proud of the work that Ashfield Community Enterprise has done so far. We cannot wait to see what it can achieve in the future.”

The scheme is open to anyone who wants to volunteer while learning joinery and woodworking. Please contact the AVA on 01623 555551 for more information.