Before joining the team at Handcrafted, John held a number of influential posts using enterprise to bring about change in communities and hope to individuals. Along with his broad experience, he brings a passion to see people grow in confidence, ability and self-esteem.
“Change is possible, and it can be radical – but time needs to be invested in connecting with people as individuals, working together to plan next steps, and keeping one another accountable along the way.”
John lives in Gateshead with his wife, Susan, and his dog, Elvis and enjoys playing bass guitar in his spare time.
Dave: Training Supervisor
As a qualified gas fitter and experienced plumber, Dave is accomplished, practical and hot on safety. He manages our workshop, making sure it is tidy, safe and well stocked with good quality equipment and tools. His professional background in teaching comes to the fore as he works with our trainees to develop their skills, challenging them to build items they can be proud of and supporting them to solve problems and pursue creative projects of their own.
From fundraising through daily administration to finance, staying on top of social media, and dealing with a stream of enquiries, Lorraine wears many hats. Her weighty experience in a range of roles and organisations such as the Salvation Army, a national family support charity and the education sector fit her to make an essential contribution to the team.
“I don’t believe in the ‘VIP’ culture, I believe that everyone is a VIP; everyone should have the opportunity to move on into being all that they can be in life.”
Seymour: Support Worker
Seymour brings his training and experience as a mental health nurse to his work with our trainees and tenants. Whether helping them to achieve long-term goals or deal with the daily hiccups of life, he has an inexhaustible expectation that people can change and turn their lives around.
“Handcrafted offers some of the best keys for unlocking change: being physically active, using your hands to make things, belonging to a community, having a routine, being loved by people who won’t give up on you.”
Stu: Support Worker,
Stu worked in the builder’s trade for many years and ran his own business as well as voluntarily doing all he could to reach and support homeless and marginalised people in Newcastle. He leads the way with his practical skills and a big heart for people. Stu particularly works with trainees on our Property Renovation and Enterprise projects, building and repairing homes and playing an essential role in building and repairing the lives of those he supports.
Greg is no stranger to making the best of unexpected setbacks in life after a knee injury put an end to several years as a bike courier in London. Greg retrained as a bicycle mechanic and now inspires and directs trainees at our Gateshead project, where they learn to build, repair and recycle bicycles.
“I love the camaraderie here, and I love teaching others and seeing that ‘light bulb moment’ when the penny drops for them.”
Matt is a local social entrepreneur who runs the Landscape Gardening project. He has a van, a ready smile and a passion to make a difference to his community through enterprise and training. He passes on his horticultural skills on to our trainees on Thursdays and Fridays.
Norman has been volunteering with us since day one. He brings a huge amount of experience with him following on from 37 years in teaching woodwork and metal work. Norman is an expert at using hand tools and enjoys passing these skills on to our trainees. He is also one of the trustees who oversee the project.
Dan set Handcrafted up 4 years ago. He is a trustee as well as a volunteer, and he supports John in managing the project. He is an accountant in his real job which he just about squeezes into the rest of week. Dan brings his experience of leading volunteers and a longing to provide practical help to destitute people.
Richard is an indispensable volunteer and trustee, with a background in Local Authority management, who plays a vital role across all our projects. He supports all our staff and has a natural gift for working pastorally with our trainees.