Veterans of The Woodwork Group from Erskine’s Activity Centre are celebrating today after their entry ‘Tommy’ won the Winning With Wood competition at Craftex 2019 at the weekend.
The Veteran members of the Group designed and lovingly hand crafted Tommy the soldier as a collection box. After previously working on a smaller Tommy, they decided to make a larger wooden soldier as a collection box which could later be utilised at the Reid Macewen Activity Centre in Bishopton, which they all attend. It took around 30 hours to create Tommy with 11* Veterans working on the project, including Jason Fearnley the woodwork tutor and Royal Navy Submariners Veteran.
Speaking about the win Jason said: “Designing and making Tommy was a complete team effort and I’m incredibly proud of all the Veterans for their hard work. There is wonderful camaraderie within the Group so to win this award is a fantastic achievement for the team.”
Tommy Addison, British Army Veteran who attends the Woodwork Group and helped work on Tommy said: “With regards to Veterans’ mental health, the woodwork group here at the Activity Centre helps immensely, by helping Veterans cope by using practical skills and humour. It was a great project to be part of.”
Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre Manager, Debs Dickson said: “I am delighted that our woodwork teams’ hard work and technical skills have been recognised by Craftex 2019. Tommy was very much a labour of love. The wood workshop is an integral part of the Activity Centre and to be acknowledged by an external organisation provides a sense of achievement to all involved.”
The Craftex 2019 event took place at The Trades House of Glasgow on Friday and Saturday. The Woodwork Group received a cheque for £1,000 for their win.
*The 11 Veterans who worked on Tommy are:
Jason Fearnley – Royal Navy (Woodwork Tutor)
Sam Gillespie – British Army
Tommy Addison – British Army
Roy Smart – British Army
John McAndrew – Royal Navy
Billy McPike – British Army
Helen Bolland – Royal Air Force
Pete Hopwood – British Army
George Collins – British Army
George Mackie – British Army
Evonne McCord – British Army (Activities Co-ordinator)