Linda’s Story

‘Two and a half years ago, I was suffering from poor mental health. I knew that structure and routine would help me recover. I’d always wanted to learn woodwork, so I asked my local authority to refer me to joinery classes at PBHA.

‘Our tutor Jonathan is an excellent and patient teacher. He and Orla, the Creative Industries coordinator, have been encouraging and extremely supportive, both with work and personal matters.

‘I’m the only woman in the joinery, but I’ve always felt accepted and encouraged by the men here. We’re a very tight-knit group and we all look out for each other. It’s a nice working environment. I learned all the basic techniques, but over time I’ve become a skilled turner.

‘I make bowls, candlesticks and am starting to make jewellery. This year PBHA invited me to join Supporting Makers, along with six other people. Some are printmakers, some make jewellery. It’s a great opportunity. We get free workshop space and materials and advice on aspects of running a small business.

‘The finished goods can be sold through PBHA’s shop Outpost – and we get paid for them.

‘I feel proud of what I’ve achieved at PBHA. It has given me a real sense of confidence. I’d recommend it to anyone.’