Andrew’s story

Andrew enjoys creating a range of wooden items in our workshop. With a few simple adaptations to his tools and work environment, we support him to work safely with his visual impairment.

I saw, plane, drill and countersink wood. I also do a lot of sanding! I like bringing out the grain of the wood. Whatever you want to make, it’s possible to make it from wood. It’s just about learning the skills to do it.

At lunchtime I like to get out into the fresh air and walk dinner off. Exercise is really important to me so I enjoy being able to fit this into my day.

I enjoy woodwork and I like taking home the things I’ve made. Over the years I have made cd and video racks, tables, bird boxes and chairs.

In the workshop we have tools that are easier to use. Like the saw which I put in the vice to help me grip it and keep it steady. The workshop is adapted to meet my needs and to help me work safely with my visual impairment.”

Andrew, Art Maker

Art Maker Andrew sitting on one of the benches he has helped to make outside our woodwork workshop for people with disabilities

Art maker Andrew putting together a new design for a chair in our woodwork workshop

Alan, workshop leader said:

In woodwork we tailor activities to suit each person’s ability in terms of what we make and how we make it. Andrew has a visual impairment which means he can’t see colour and he also has tunnel vision. He also struggles with his short term memory. We’ve adapted the way we work to meet his needs – for example Andrew has a tool box for all of his tools to keep them all in the same place for him. He enjoys physical work so by making a few small adaptations such as using a jig to hold the wood in the correct position while he drills into place he can work on larger projects such as chairs or benches.

We worked on a new design for a chair together, playing to Andrew’s strengths. He uses a rounding tool to make the dowel the right size, removing the need to use sharp chisels. We then work together to assemble the chair. He also gets involved in painting the assembled wood products. Andrew feels pride in what he has achieved, and often makes pieces to take home to his parents.

Physical activity is very important to Andrew and he told us he’d like to get out at lunchtime so I now support him to walk down by the river. We always aim to be flexible and responsive to Art Makers individual needs.”

Art Maker sanding down a birdbox in our woodwork workshop

Join our woodwork workshop

Learn to make a range of functional or decorative items from wood including bird boxes, bug hotels, garden furniture and toys.

  • Develop skills in using hand and machine tools
  • Improve your spatial awareness and dexterity
  • Work on your practical skills such as shaping and sanding, cutting, assembling, painting and finishing
  • Learn to work as a team and develop your social skills
  • Develop an awareness of health and safety procedures.
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