News from Handcrafted

  • Making the Grade!

    The smile says it all. Keith is one of the first crop of trainees graduating from our in-house training program this month. Keith’s lovingly finished cue case is the envy of his pals at the local snooker club.

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  • Downhill all the Way at the North East Soap Box Challenge

    Prince, Michael Jackson and David Bowie needed a spanner to fix their coffin … What’s the punchline? Wait … no. This actually happened?   It’s Saturday, August the 18th at Herrington Country Park, and pit crews are making last-minute adjustments to their vehicles before they run the challenging downhill skidaddle of the North East’s inaugural… Read more »

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  • The Power of Suggestion

    There isn’t a roadmap for what we are doing at Handcrafted. We have a clear sense of our mission to restore and empower people through training in the context of a creative and inclusive community. We know that there’s always room for improvement and innovation. In formal meetings and casual conversations, we are preoccpied with… Read more »

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  • Enter … Aly – our new Project Development Officer

    Narrator’s Voice: We’ve been running a workshop in Gateshead since January 2017, practically working out our conviction that the Handcrafted way of doing things can have a powerful effect in other localities. Initially open for just 8 hours a week, and running bicycle repair courses alongside woodworking in a small workshop, we were helped by… Read more »

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  • First Day in the Workshop is a Lift Off

    Even though our trainees keep telling us that they are pleasantly surprised how friendly and inclusive our workshop is when they first come along, those first impressions are so important. It’s like day one in a new job or school: you don’t know what to expect and if you are going to fit in okay…. Read more »

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  • Backwoods Ingenuity: The Kentucky Stick Chair

    When I first heard the words ‘Kentucy Stick Chair’ it was hard to dismiss the image of a piece of furniture somehow constructed from pieces of deep-fried chicken. It turned out that what we were really talking about was no less extraordinary. The original Kentucky Stick Chairs would have been made from humble sticks and… Read more »

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  • Guest Post: Extreme Character Challenge 2018

    At Handcrafted, we talk about ‘changing stories’. As people become part of a community, they find it easier to exit destructive cycles associated with other places and people. As they, turn their time and skills into real things like chairs and tables they reclaim a sense of self worth. Overcoming challenges, they turn ‘can’t’ into… Read more »

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  • Friday the 13th

    Friday the 13th of April has dawned; the most recent in a hat-trick of grey days when the weather has conspired to drag our moods down. Superstition dictates this is an unlucky day, that you might be safer to stay under the quilt, but we have a full compliment of trainees in the workshop, rearing… Read more »

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  • Wisdom from the Workshop

    by Justin Lau ‘Why doesn’t the Queen—’ [raises left hand] ‘—wave with this hand? … Because it’s mine!’ Laughter erupts around the table over steaming shepherd’s pie as jokes and banter flit across the room one after another like an impeccably coordinated symphony. Except there’s no one conductor; everyone’s directing, everyone’s performing, everyone’s judging if… Read more »

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  • A New Door

    Our new women’s support worker, Mim, writes about how her experience in prisons led to her to come and work for us. Three years ago, I started working in Durham’s prisons. Among the many new things I learnt were a couple of phrases that kept repeating themselves. The first is ‘the conveyor belt’ and the… Read more »

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  • Making sure nobody gets left behind

    Staff and trustees spent a day at the start of this year talking about what makes Handcrafted tick. We asked how we could make sure we keep working on those fundamentals and find evidence that they are turning into actions, more than warm, fuzzy feelings (although those are nice, too). We all agreed that “Inclusion”… Read more »

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  • Reaching Out

    Asking a hard question Every day, we hear stories, big and small, that give us confidence that Handcrafted Projects is making a real difference to real people. We want to meet the people we can help and give them the best possible opportunity to join us. Recently, we looked again at how many people actually… Read more »

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