Rural Skills project busy making festive crafts for Christmas

26th October 2018

FitzRoy's Pop Up Shop - Chris Sutton

Our Rural Skills project in Hampshire has been busy creating festive gifts and decorations in their workshops.

The team have crafted some wonderful handmade reindeers, snowmen, baubles and Christmas trees.

Our Rural Skills Project supports 12 adults with learning disabilities to develop confidence, skills and a sense of well-being, by working in a rural setting. The close-knit team enjoy being involved in every stage of the craft production process, from choosing a tree in the surrounding sustainable woodland to adding the decorative finishing touches to the reindeers.

Chris Sutton, one of the members attending Rural Skills (pictured above), said:

“I attend FitzRoy’s Rural Skills Project on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I look forward to going and have made some good friends. I like developing new skills and enjoy putting woodwork projects together. I also help maintain the site by raking up leaves, turning over raised beds and looking after the plants.”

During these practical workshops the people we support learn how to safely use hand tools for sanding, sawing, drilling and measuring. Depending on their ability, some of the members advance to using power tools under the guidance of Nic Walters their support worker.

Nic said:

“I’ve worked at FitzRoy’s Rural Skills Project for over seven years, since it all began. It really is a great place to work – I really enjoy teaching woodwork and maintenance to the people we support. It’s so satisfying and rewarding watching them develop new skills and see their confidence grow year by year.”

FitzRoy's Pop Up Shop - ReindeerAs well as woodwork, our Rural Skills team learn how to cultivate vegetables, fruit and herbs, grow pot plants and maintain the grounds. They have also been creating natural ‘living’ wreaths during craft workshops with their arts and horticultural support worker Lisa Tyler.

These fantastic craft items will be available from FitzRoy’s first Pop Up Shop, as well as the Rural Skills stall.

Run by volunteers, FitzRoy’s Pop Up Shop will be at The Petersfield Space at 11 Lavant Street from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th November. As well gifts and decorations, there will be a Santa’s grotto, plenty of activities for the kids and professional family photo sessions available. The Rural Skills team will also be hosting a stall in Ram’s Walk, Petersfield on Friday 7th December.

All proceeds will go towards transforming the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism. Why not ‘pop’ down and grab yourself a Christmas bargain?