Lumberjack Provision
Image Source: Rob Finney
Nick Gainsford (Provision House), Zak, Owen Bennett and Fred Evans (Lumberjack Tools)
Russ Cockburn

Member Article

‘Trading places’ as Provision House launches new workshop to help young people and the unemployed in Dudley

A Christian charity that has supported thousands of Black Country people has launched its latest venture to help provide vital training and skills for people not in education or those who are long-term unemployed.

Provision House, which was formerly known as Loaves n Fishes, has joined forces with local businesses to build and fit-out a new workshop at its iconic retail building opposite ‘top church’ in Dudley.

Several thousand pounds has been spent on creating a dedicated space for young people and adults to enjoy taster sessions and more specialist courses covering trades, such as carpentry, decorating, electrics and plumbing.

The exciting new development has been backed by Lumberjack Tools, who were so inspired with the charity’s version it donated more than £3500 of free equipment that will be used under skilled supervision.

Nick Gainsford, Operations Director at Provision House, commented: “There are a lot of people in Dudley and Sandwell who want to get into work or gain new skills, but don’t know where to go to get the knowledge they need to get started.

“This new workshop is a small step in helping individuals who are not in mainstream education, training or employment gain the chance to learn new skills that gives them confidence in the short-term and maybe even a route into a possible job going forward.”

He went on to add: “We’re very fortunate in that we have built up a bank of excellent volunteers during our 18-year history and this workshop will be supported by local craftspeople and our resident trainer Dinesh Patel.

“Funding for the build of the space was self-financed and we are delighted to partner with Lumberjack Tools on ensuring people using our facility will have access to all the tools they need to learn and potentially create products we can sell in our own emporium.”

Provision House officially launched the workshop last week when it hosted its first session with students from the Invictus Revive Learning Centre, all of which have had difficulty functioning in their mainstream school.

The students spend two-hours per week alternating between the workshop and IT suite upstairs, gaining new skills whilst also being given the opportunity to develop a product from their own design, producing it in small quantities before selling it in a ‘pop-up shop’ in Dudley.

Fred Evans, Managing Director at Lumberjack Tools, added his support: “One of the staff at Provision House came to purchase some of our tools and told us what they were planning. It was a simple decision to get behind their venture and donate over £3500 of equipment, with the promise of more to come when they have a better understanding of what they will need.

“We want to help create the next generation of craftsmen and women and if we can help in a small way to get people interested in a possible career in this field then all the better.

“Provision House is a fantastic charity that supports the Black Country in numerous ways and this workshop has the potential to cater for hundreds of individuals who are most at need of a new opportunity.”

Chris Bennett, Director of Alternative Provision for Invictus Education Trust, said: “We are very pleased to be working alongside Provisions House with some of our most vulnerable students.

“The new workshop will be the ideal setting for students to design, develop and make enterprising products and we are eager to get started. A huge thanks to Lumberjack Tools, whose donation will give our learners access to quality tools and resources.”

About Lumberjack Tools

Lumberjack Tools, which is run by brothers Bill, Dave and Fred Evans, was set up in 2004 in a small industrial unit in West Bromwich and has seen sales soar after it invested heavily in its showroom and online presence.

At the same time as this expansion, the business – now located on the Manders Estate in Wolverhampton - also started to increase its supplier network, sourcing high quality woodworking, garage and garden products to domestic and commercial clients from across the UK.

One of the highlights of the last twelve months has been the firm securing a new deal with The Range, giving it national exposure to more than 5 million customers every year.

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .

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