The carpenter's old tools on a wooden background

Manor Gardens Woodwork Group

As a community builder for Barnwood Trust, Kat has many conversations with many different people from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis. One of these conversations was with a local man she happened to meet on one of her walks around a village near Gloucester. Kat asked him what his dream would be – if he could do anything with his spare time, how would he spend it? The man explained that he was a keen carpenter and that he would love to teach basic woodworking to adults.

Meanwhile, a group of residents from a local sheltered housing area had been holding coffee mornings a few times a week and Kat had been visiting the group on a regular basis to keep up-to-date with the residents and to share ideas about community activities.

During one of these visits, the residents talked about how that they would love to learn basic woodworking skills. Great!

Kat met with the carpenter and asked him whether he would be willing to teach a small group from the sheltered housing area, who were all very eager to learn some basic woodwork – and he enthusiastically agreed! He was introduced to the housing manager and they set a date for the first session.

The carpenter applied for a Small Sparks grant from Barnwood Trust for some equipment needed for his lessons and he met the six excited participants. The woodworking sessions began and a fantastic time was had by all – the residents learned (and are still learning) basic woodworking skills, the carpenter grew in confidence and firm friendships were formed.

Manor Gardens Woodwork Group working together.

About Small Sparks grants

The Small Sparks fund has been created to help small groups of people throughout Gloucestershire to get together to do something they enjoy and make a difference to where they live.

You might need gardening equipment to grow vegetables together, books or wool to get a club going, or wool and knitting needles for a group you are already a part of.

You can apply for a grant of up to £250 if you can show us that:

  • At least one of you wanting to enjoy the activity has a disability or is an older person who would like to make more friends
  • There are at least four people involved in total
  • Everyone is prepared to contribute their time, energy and talents.

For more information about Small Sparks, visit our grants page or contact