ASC’s workshop produces handcrafted goods while developing skills among young adults

An in-house carpentry project at specialist care facility ASC is an “invaluable” asset for service users and residents, say its owners.

The carpentry workshop, opened five years ago at ASC in Balbeggie, Perthshire, develops service users’ skills while producing handcrafted items for sale and for use in-house.

ASC, which caters to adults with learning disabilities and perceived challenging behaviour, has been making items for sale and donation for private individuals and the 25 care homes run by Balhousie Care Group, ASC’s parent company.

Heading up the workshop is Bob Foulds, a former care worker at the facility, who developed it from scratch in a former shed. Running the workshop is now a full-time job for Bob, a retired RAF aeronautical engineer with a love of carpentry.

Bob said: “It’s a win-win for us at ASC because it’s a place where our service users can learn carpentry skills but also life skills. It is also a safe, relaxing place for them. It operates similar to a Men’s Shed. They can have a laugh, come in for a cup of tea and a chat and it really relaxes them. At the same time we’re producing beautiful one-of-a-kind items for our sister care facilities.”

Robin Wallace, ASC Operations Manager, said: “The ASC workshop is an invaluable asset for so many reasons. It is teaching our service users important life lessons and skills and promoting independence, which is what ASC is all about.”

Among the items the workshop has produced are wheelchair-accessible wooden tables for care home gardens, signs and festive decorations, and intricate household items such as candlesticks, ornaments and chopping boards.

Bob said: “There’s strong demand for our items, among the care homes and from individuals, through word of mouth – so much so that at times we’ve run out of wood! Now we have regular donations locally which really helps. We would love to expand and fill orders from the public, although I’m aware that the needs of the service users come first. I’m conscious of keeping order numbers small for that reason.”

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