Calm and camaraderie in the woodshop

It’s a beautiful Friday morning and Melissa, 37, chats happily about her favourite band Human Nature as she finishes working on her pot holder.

She finds the practice of sanding and being in the woodshop at HAND Social and Life Skills Hub a calming experience.

When Sue, 57, became injured and was unable to attend her weekly woodworking class, she missed it immensely. Flicking through the photos on her phone, she is eager to share the many pieces she has made since starting the program.

She proudly displays the badge she was given by Centacare support worker and woodwork instructor, Brendon. He nominated Sue as the ‘Quality Control Officer’, a reference to the joy she gets from giving fellow participants a helping hand where they need.

As part of the woodworking program, Sue and Melissa learn basic carpentry and woodworking skills needed to make small projects like bird houses, possum boxes, bottle openers and toys.

Sue has a small kitchen and likes making practical things like storage boxes and organisers. She also gets a kick out of gifting the items she makes, especially to her mum, who she says adopted her when she was young.

“Both girls get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from coming up with their own projects and seeing them through to fruition,” said Brendon.

“Their pieces are also sold at fetes and other community events, which gives them a real sense of achievement and pride. The funds raised are put toward buying materials like oil and drill bits”.

Want a place to do the things you love?

There’s something for everyone at HAND Social and Life Skills Hub. You’ll enjoy a wide range of activities from cooking, to computer skills, to woodwork and everything in between. If you have a goal, no matter how big or small, we’ll help you achieve it.