Peter Lavelle gave up his job as a social worker to found charity and social enterprise, Glasgow Wood Recycling – and he continues to help people – but in a different way.
Founded in 2007, the company not only gives old pieces of wood a new lease of life but people who may be struggling to get back into the job market, can also get a lifeline.
Glasgow Wood Recycling collects wood from all over Glasgow and surrounding areas. The wood is brought back to the workshop in the city’s South Street and lovingly crafted into gorgeous bespoke furniture, befitting of any designer home. They make an array of mirrors, coffee tables, shelves, chairs, benches and more. And there is a huge benefit to the environment as the amount of wood ending up in landfill is reduced.
“Bespoke, hand-crafted furniture. Ethically produced in Scotland” Glasgow Wood Recycling
Previously employed as a social worker for many years, Peter continues to help people at Glasgow Wood Recycling through a 10 week programme called Making Wood Work – it’s where people are given a chance to train and to make progress towards employment. They get back into the workplace, learn vital skills and their confidence and self-esteem gets a huge boost. After the course many people go on and find full time employment.
Through word of mouth the company is thriving from their workshop space. They are rightfully proud of their work which deserves to be shown off – but they did not have the facility to do this – until now.
Now GWR have a showroom, a newly converted portacabin space which allows them to showcase examples of what they do. Buy or order a piece and know that it comes with a story. You’re saving a beautiful piece of reclaimed wood, protecting our environment and helping someone to find work. Plus the furniture is gorgeous, exceptionally well made, sturdy and made to last forever.
Making Wood Work – Making a Difference.
Peter joined the Making Wood Work programme in 2015. He said:
At Making Wood Work we were making things that customers would purchase, so it’s not like you are involved in pointless tasks. You are in an actual work environment and you are expected to meet certain standards. This was good for me, as being out of work for a while I needed a sense that I was working towards something useful.
The really good thing about this programme is that it doesn’t end after the 10 weeks as they are really motivated to progress their volunteers into work or further advancement through courses and I was really impressed by this. My confidence got the boost it needed and I learned new skills, and ultimately I found paid employment, which I am over the moon about.
Here’s a selection of images from Glasgow Wood Recycling open day and Showroom Launch – 26th February 2016.
Glasgow Wood Recycling, Unit 6, Barclay Curle Complex, 739 South Street, Glasgow G14 0BX
0141 237 8566
Useful links and follow:
Zero Waste Scotland Inspiring change for Scotland’s resource economy
Glasgow Wood Recycling are members of the Glasgow Social Enterprise Network
Initiatives such as Making Wood Work are helped by Big Lottery Fund Scotland