A Space for All
Our team has a wealth of experience working with children and adults in an artistic environment. We are passionate about personal service and endeavour to give our visitors a unique and creative experience with a friendly touch. Our aim is to offer everyone in the community a fun, safe, and creative space for children, friends and families to come and enjoy quality time together whilst creating wood objects to treasure.
Open Monday to Friday
Education and Schools
Schools who have no woodwork spaces and classes are welcome to make a daytime bookings for classes. These allow children to learn new skills away from school, and to take home items they are proud to have made. All our staff teams are DBS checked and work within Camden Child and Adult protection polices. Each session can take 15 children. We also welcome home taught children.
After School Clubs
Why not come along to our after school clubs from 3.30pm onwards. Parents are welcome to join in. These classes allow time for you to make small or longer term projects. Come and learn maths as you measure items, plan your design on paper and then make it, in a fun, stimulating and safe environment.
Children and Adults with learning difficulties
Children and adults with learning difficulties or wheelchair based are welcome. These are some of are more popular classes, ask for details about what is on offer.
Woodwork education parties
Why not have a family day on a Saturday and invite some friends. You can all make one large item or bring things from home that need repair. You’re welcome to book and use the woodwork room with our team. We can help you plan your day. Education parties are great for school projects and too.
Carpentry Reparation Placement in partnership with Camden Council
For the last six years Camden Youth Offending Service has been supported by Ricky Jefferson and his carpentry workshops for young people. This work is done as part of the community service orders young offenders receive when they commit a crime. These ‘reparation hours’ are compulsory, and have to fit two criteria in order to be appropriate; first, the work the young people do must make a meaningful contribution to the community. Second, the work must be constructive for the young person, helping them to engage with a side of themselves that can move them away from offending behaviour, and develop their pro-social identity.
The work that Ricky does with young people is an effective match for both these criteria. The furniture that the young people create or fix is given to members of the community who need it, and the bird and plant boxes that are made are given to appropriate centres or houses that would benefit from them. Furthermore, the work being done is engaging for young people to attend. Commonly one of the biggest difficulties of reparation placements is keeping up levels of engagement in young offenders, Ricky’s approach to both work and the young people themselves is effective at keeping them highly engaged. A calm and approachable manner, coupled with a good knowledge of his craft, enables young people to learn effectively from their activity, gaining not only knowledge of carpentry, but also developing good social and communication skills. Examples of the impact of the workshops can be demonstrated by way of two example cases:
There was a young woman who was initially assigned to complete a different reparation activity, but was moved on to carpentry as she had an interest in that area. She was committed and focused on the work, and was given the opportunity to develop her carpentry skills thanks to the quality of the learning environment in each session. Following on from her reparation, she decided to go on to study carpentry at college, due in large part to the teaching she had received from Ricky. In addition, the bird box she made during her time on reparation was used as an exhibition piece at city hall, giving her the opportunity to feel real pride in what she had accomplished. All of this was made possible thanks to a combination of her own passion and interest in the subject, and to Ricky sharing his own passion for carpentry, encouraging her to get involved and develop her skills.
As a second example of the impact of carpentry on young people, we had an young man who was studying at a pupil referral unit, and had a variety of learning and behavioural difficulties. It proved hard to find reparation he could do, as his levels of engagement were particularly low due to his complex needs. He was eventually given the carpentry placement, where Ricky managed to get him to start engaging. After a few weeks his behaviour started to improve as he became more comfortable with the environment. He was eventually able to work by himself and use his own initiative in a way that was not possible at the beginning of the sessions. The support and input that Ricky provided was very useful for this young person, even to the point that he wanted to carry on with the sessions after he had finished the initial hours given to him.
How to Book & Contact
firstname.lastname@example.org for information and booking form
- Woodwork is free for the homeless, children, ex servicemen and women and victims of crime.
- All groups are mixed from across the spectrum (adhd / autism / aspergers / dyslexia / dyspraxia / disabled both mentally and physically)
- We also offer a free service to make props for school plays, we have worked with Tufnell Park School, Brookfield School in Islington, Gospel oak School in Camden.
It should be noted many of these services are at a reduced rate and some are free
From my vantage point as an ex head of science in senior schools, and a Psychotherapist and Supervisor/Trainer of 25 years, I consider that
What you offer is invaluable to the range and type of youngsters with whom you work. You give the young offenders, an excellent role model as a Man,a father and a skilled craftsman. You show them another possibility of what’s possible for their future.
They experience kindness and respect yet boundaries expectation of performance from them. All necessary experience for them to develop a sense of self-respect. As for the school children, again you give them ‘Good father ‘role model. you show them patience and acceptance as they learn motor skills from you.
In this day and age of health and safety where childhood is so restricted in what they are allowed to do in schools, it’s important that they are allowed to handle tools, wood and learn self-control in a workshop environment.
These children are our future, they learn so much under your auspices that instils them with a sense of competency, self-esteem and relational skills.
I just wanted to write to tell you how much Ted loves your woodwork class.
Ted is 5yrs old and has never been to a class like this before, he is always really resistant to any kind of extra curricular activity and this was the only one he would even consider joining.
Ted was having a bit of a difficult time at the start of term and getting into trouble at school but since he started your class he has really calmed down. He talks about woodwork all week and every night before he goes to sleep he asks if it is Thursday tomorrow so he can go to woodwork! I have never seen him so enthusiastic about anything and it is a joy to see.
Ted is learning so much with you and your team and his father and I really believe your class has played a large part in the improvement of his behaviour at school.
I am always really struck at how focused and engaged all the children are in your class, they all come out beaming with pride at the work they have done each week. I hope you get the backing you need from HNCC, it is the greatest local class I have come across and I would be very sad to see it leave the community centre.
(Mum to Ted)
Ricky is the most superb, patient and inspiring teacher that I know. He has given both my children vast confidence and a wide range of practical skills that are not catered for by schools. He motivates them to see through their own ideas from beginning to end, to not give up when faced with difficulties and frustrations, and he teaches them independence. He encourages them to see the practical benefits of maths through measuring. The face that the woodwork is offered at the community centre means that it is possible to get there from school and provides a real community hub. If it was further away it would not be practical or possible to attend. Having woodwork at Newtown also means that those who have siblings doing football, pottery etc in the other bits of the community centre can attend. Ricky gives his all to the children. It would be devastating if he could longer teach woodwork there. I know I speak on behalf of many children and parents when I say this.
Rosy de la Mare
This woodworking class in the community has fantastic benefits to the young people that I work with. It offers skills in traditional woodworking, and assists communication between some of our most challenging young people, in an informal way enabling further engagement in positive activity. It has elicited skills from young people that they had never dreamed of and has enabled us to demonstrate this self-belief can be applied in other areas.
These woodworking workshops has inspired them to realise their potential and encouraged them to progress further in their education towards goals that are achievable.
Samantha Childs, Development Officer, Camden Youth Offending Service