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Matthew gains skills that will last a lifetime

25th Mar 2014

One of Oxfam Cymru's projects to build livelihoods in Wales is using woodwork to help local people carve out a future for themselves.

The Livelihoods project at the Dove Workshop in Banwen in the upper Neath Valley is teaching people how to make benches  for the garden of a local old people's home.

The benches are made out of recycled wood  and the workshops are held every Wednesday morning in the nearby Sarn Helen garden.

Livelihoods  worker Mark Hepburn says:"  The woodworking provides both a practical and therapeutic activity with wood being a very tactile and easy to work material. Because the wood used is all reclaimed, we are 'up cycling' as well!"

The project is still recruiting volunteers to learn both woodworking and gardening  skills.

Trainee woodworker Matthew Williams  says: " I am really enjoying  learning how to work with wood and the skills I am getting will last a lifetime."

A bench Matthew made  is going to Ty Maesmarchog residential home in Banwen soon. Mark hopes that the individual carvings on the benches will provide a sensory experience for those who may have sight problems.

Oxfam Cymru's Building Livelihoods and Strengthening Communities projects are funded by the Big Lottery Fund Wales.