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SKILLED: Coniston Stonecraft has teamed up with a charity
CRAFTSMEN at a Lake District company have teamed up with another organisation to help young people in the area find jobs.
Old table frames repurposed by people learning practical skills under Right2Work (R2W) will be fitted with slate tops and sold to customers by the team at Coniston Stonecraft.
R2W offers a number of work and learning opportunities – including the gaining of practical skills such as furniture preparation – to people across Cumbria and Lancashire.
Brendan Donnelly, managing director of Coniston Stonecraft, spotted the opportunity for a partnership during a visit to the Kendal offices of R2W, which is part of the Oaklea Trust charity.
“I know from experience that a beautiful Westmorland green slate top can transform a tired old table into a real statement piece – and I know there’s customer demand for just that kind of piece,” he said.
“R2W’s learners will be helping to put together professional products for commercial sale – and the organisation will receive a cash benefit.”
Mr Donnelly and R2W regional manager Peter Bradbury also realised the two organisations could collaborate to help the environment.
Mr Bradbury said the foam his staff removed from furniture was ideal packing material for slate gifts and signs sent out from Coniston Stonecraft’s workshops on the slopes of the Old Man of Coniston.
At present, the foam is sent to landfill and Coniston Stonecraft uses cloth roll ends from a distributor in Lancashire to pack its slate.
Mr Donnelly said: “Now R2W is going to give us their foam for packing and we are going to give them the roll ends to use as materials for cushions and upholstery, to help their learners develop skills.
“So, we’re helping a worthwhile charity, and we’re both helping the environment. Everyone wins.”
Mr Bradbury said: “This is yet another example of us working alongside local businesses for the good of the community.
“The collaboration with Stonecraft allows us to reduce our waste and help more people learn skills for their future work lives.”
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