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Request for Help

30 July, 2021

Volunteers Needed
Minstead Trust is a charitable organisation supporting adults with learning difficulties from its base at Minstead Lodge in the New Forest as well as other places in the community, notably Portsmouth, Totton and Furzey Gardens. Part of their support is to provide daytime activities at the Lodge including various types of craft work. Look at their website for a much better description of the Trust than I can give here.


A number of volunteers from Hampshire Woodturners Association have been providing “tuition” on 2 lathes in the woodworking department following an initiative some years ago headed by Alan Sturgess and a generous deal with Axminster Tools to supply kit. This activity stopped at the start of the Covid pandemic during a general shutdown. With the growth of the vaccination programme it is hoped to restart later this summer.

Unfortunately the team of volunteers has been depleted in the meantime. We are now down to just 2 volunteers. So we urgently need some more volunteers.


Our volunteers don’t need great woodturning skills. A grasp of the basics is fine to make some straightforward turned items. But you will need plenty of patience. The students have learning difficulties so are slow to learn and quick to forget what you tell them. One or two of them show some aptitude and Alan used to wonder what they might achieve if we could provide more than an hour or two per week on a lathe. However, most are not like this but nonetheless enjoy the experience and the sense of achievement in making things albeit with a great deal of help. Some of the produce is saleable at realistic prices and this provides further satisfaction as well as a modest contribution to the funds.

  • As a volunteer are you going to be frustrated? Yes.
  • Are you going to get exasperated when the simplest of things can’t be grasped? Yes but hopefully you won’t show it too much.

But you will surely be moved by the joy of a student who thinks they have achieved something and rushes round showing it to everyone. It is a rewarding experience to work and become friends with the students.

So what we need is some turners who can spare say 2 regular weekday mornings a month and are able to get to Minstead. You will need to be fully vaccinated (all the students are, by the way) and be prepared to get a DBS certificate to ensure you have no criminal record relevant to teaching vulnerable people (The Trust will arrange and pay for this).

If you think you might be able to help, we will be pleased to hear from you.

Contact us on enquiries@hants-woodturners-hwa.co.uk

We’ll leave you with a gallery of items made in the woodturning workshop at Minstead Lodge.

September 2021 Gallery

19 September, 2021

August 2021 Gallery

22 August, 2021

Summer Competition – 2021

30 July, 2021

The Winner is Mario – Congratulations!

All the entries

July 2021 Gallery

10 July, 2021