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Outwood CIC in Grantham deemed as a ‘great place to go’





A woodwork project that sets out to help people with their mental health is a “great place to go”, one user says.

Karen Marlor, from Grantham, and her father started to attend sessions at Outwood CIC, in Grantham, after her mum sadly passed away in August.

She said she is “so grateful” to Outwood as it helps her and her father to “smile week by week” and she believes Grantham people “will learn so much” by attending sessions.

Ken hard at work in one of the woodwork sessions.
Ken hard at work in one of the woodwork sessions.

Outwood, founded by Simon Kieffer, was officially set up in 2018 and it holds woodwork sessions every Monday to Friday in Triggs Yard, Union Street.

Karen said: “Following the loss of my mum - dad and I started going to Outwood.

Karen hard at work in a session.
Karen hard at work in a session.

“This community project has really helped us and we always come away smiling.

“Together we have already made a bird box and are now making Christmas gifts for dad's grandchildren.

“I had never done any woodwork before I visited - and I can't believe what I can do under Simon’s guidance.

“Dad leaves me to do all the cutting, drilling etc, whilst his job is sanding and waxing.”

Also through the group, Karen’s father was able to get a toy that he had since he was a little boy, restored to what it was like 80 years ago.

Karen's father Ken with his toy World War tank.
Karen's father Ken with his toy World War tank.

Karen added: “This tank was made by an Italian prisoner of war who worked with my grandad during World War Two

“My dad was about five when it was made and I think it was so kind of this Italian man who must have spent hours and hours making it. It is so detailed!

Ken's tank that was restored.
Ken's tank that was restored.

“As a little boy, dad loved to play with his precious toy, then as an adult he stored it safely, keeping all the little bits that fell off over time.

“We told Simon about the tank and he asked to see it.

“A volunteer, Bob, offered to try and restore it to how it was 80 years ago and we saw the result.

People hard at work in the Outwood sessions.
People hard at work in the Outwood sessions.

“I felt so emotional and dad beamed!”

Although Outwood started in 2018, with Covid causing disruption, the group has only “taken off” in the last two years, said Simon.

People hard at work in the Outwood sessions.
People hard at work in the Outwood sessions.

Simon, who previously worked with people with drug and alcohol misuse, thought what could these people do to “fill their time that’s productive” and give them a “sense of achievement”.

So, he came up with the idea of Outwood.

He said: “We’ve gradually built up our community base.

Users of Outwood with some of their work.
Users of Outwood with some of their work.

“People are referred in through social prescribers and local organisations and it’s a workshop for people to come down, share skills, learn skills and just make stuff.

“It’s all out of reclaimed wood as well, so we’re trying to reuse everything we find or what is given to us.”

Outwood CIC holds woodwork sessions for people.
Outwood CIC holds woodwork sessions for people.

The organisation also sells some of what it makes on Etsy and eBay.

In the sessions, people are free to make what they want, but support is also offered if they need any help with their projects.

Simon added: “If they’ve got ideas, we’ll support them and help them do it.

“If they’re not sure, then I can set them tasks.

“So it’s a bit of both [but] it’s good to try and encourage people to come up with their own ideas.”

Looking to the future, Simon said the group is “still growing” but he hopes it will reach more people in the future.

He added: “We’re not early days, but in a way it still is.

“We’re definitely going in the right direction and so the future would be to just expand on what we’ve got.

“Just more people enjoying it and having a go.

“I’d like more stuff with younger people as well to kind of encourage them to be creative and make things, so that’s an avenue we’re looking at.”

To find out more about Outwood, email simon.kieffer@outwoodcic.org or call 07985 565714.



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