Brighton charity The Wood Store raises funds for new workshop

A Brighton charity which recycles and reuses unwanted timber – while providing opportunities for disadvantaged people – is hoping to crowdfund £15,000 to refit its new workshop.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 4:12 pm
Steve Bannatyne and volunteers at The Wood Store Brighton. Photo by Jon Rigby
Steve Bannatyne and volunteers at The Wood Store Brighton. Photo by Jon Rigby

The Wood Store, which has been running since 1998, was forced to leave its old premises in Elder Place at the beginning of the pandemic as the site was earmarked for housing.

For the last year it has traded from a sorting yard in Clayhill in Ringmer, but it has finally found a new home in Brighton’s Edward Street.

Now the charity is asking for support to get the doors open.

Volunteer Kevin Clark. Photo by Jon Rigby

Volunteers have already been busy refurbishing, cleaning and painting the 5,500 sqft site.

Steve Bannatyne, general manager of Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project (trading as The Wood Store), said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming people back to the Wood Store at our new home in Edward Street.

“Our work with volunteers, offering skills and training in a caring environment, is needed more than ever as so many seek to rebuild their lives in the wake of the pandemic.

“To help get the doors open, and provide some new equipment, we are appealing to those who know and value what we do so please dig deep and support our Crowdfunder.”

Volunteer Paul Davis. Photo by Jon Rigby

The charity sells reclaimed wood to the public at a greatly reduced price.

It also changes lives in the community, by providing jobs, volunteer opportunities and skills training.

Mr Bannatyne said: “One of the things we do best is help trainees and volunteers who’ve been marginalised from the workforce through mental health problems, homelessness, alcohol or drug related issues through training and mentoring.

“I’ve seen people come from the tail end of addiction, living in a halfway house, to fully rebuilding their lives free from past problems. Some go onto further education or return to a workforce after long-term isolation.

Volunteer Toni Packham. Photo by Jon Rigby

“We offer a secure, structured, non-judgmental environment with a friendly team to help get to the next stage.

“Simply having a daily structure with start and finish times, a cup of tea and lunch as a team, can really boost confidence.

“It’s an essential part of rehabilitation and getting back into society without pressure.

“Many of our staff members were once marginalised and have gone onto build futures for themselves working with us and so have empathy, ready to support others.”

Volunteers Marianne Edwards and Ben Fisher. Photo by Jon Rigby

To support the crowdfunder visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/project-wood-store-brighton

Project Woodstore Brighton boss Steve Bannatyne and volunteers (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-210617-102102001