Glasgow Wood Recycling (GWR) was established in 2007 as a charity and social enterprise by Peter Lavelle, a trained social worker with an interest in working with communities and people. Peter attended a masterclass by Richard Mehmed, the founder of the Community Wood Recycling in Brighton, and was really inspired. He particularly liked the idea of an enterprise that involved volunteers, people learning skills, good for the environment and was having a bit of an impact on the community.
Peter thought: “if it can happen in Brighton, why can’t it happen somewhere else?”. So he made the decision to have a go at this.
GWR is committed to reducing the amount of wood going to landfill by finding creative ways to recycle and reuse unwanted material. It is through these activities that volunteer and training opportunities are provided to local people and that a wide range of home & garden reclaimed wood products are made in the South Street, Glasgow workshop.
Volunteers play a crucial role in all aspects of the enterprise. There is no specific requirement to volunteer for the organisation and all are provided with basic health and safety training & equipment. The roles range from manual wood work assistant to marketing and administration roles, in order to enable a variety of people to take an interest in the organisation’s activities.
In 2014, GWR was awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver a training and employment project providing opportunities for 144 people. The training programme is designed and accredited by the National Community Wood Recycling Network helping unemployed people to learn woodworking skills, wood recycling and health and safety. GWR also works with local employers to identify taster placements, work experience and employment opportunities.
This is a first of its kind in Scotland!