A specialist Perthshire care home is seeking donations of timber for a unique in-house carpentry project that develops skills and produces luxury handcrafted items.
The carpentry workshop, opened five years ago at ASC in Balbeggie is an “invaluable” asset for service users and residents at the facility, which caters to adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.
The workshop has been producing items for sale and donation to private individuals and the 25 care homes run by Balhousie Care Group, of which ASC part.
The workshop has just completed its second wheelchair-accessible wooden table for another Balhousie Care Group home in Rumbling Bridge.
Service users have started working on Christmas decorations and other items such as chopping boards and candlesticks.
However, in order to continue with their therapeutic exploits, the care home needs more donations of wood.
Heading up the ASC workshop is Bob Foulds, a former care worker at the facility, who developed it from scratch in a former shed.
Running the workshop is now a full-time job for Bob, a retired RAF aeronautical engineer with a love of carpentry.
He said: “It’s a win-win for us at ASC because it’s a place where our service users can learn carpentry skills but also life skills, and it’s a safe, relaxing place for them. It operates similarly to a Men’s Shed.
“They can have a laugh, come in for a cup of tea and a chat. It really relaxes them. And at the same time we’re producing beautiful one-of-a-kind items for our sister care facilities.
“There’s strong demand for our items, among the care homes and from individuals, through word of mouth – so much so that we’re running out of wood.
“We’d love to expand and fill orders from the general public, although I’m aware that the needs of the service users come first. I’m conscious of keeping order numbers small for that reason.”
Robin Wallace, operations manager for ASC, added: “The ASC workshop is an invaluable asset for so many reasons. It is teaching our service users important life lessons and skills and promoting independence, which is what ASC is all about.”