Getting back in the saddle

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer and the subsequent treatment and surgery Lee’s cancer returned. Fortunately I’m being monitored very regularly so there is treatment happening which the cancer is responding too very well, so although I’m not out of the metaphorical woods yet I can see the light! So without any further a do I’m looking forward to getting fully immersed in developing the Milkwood project with the hope of it reaching its full potential and helping all we can.

This last 12 months has been a roller coaster but be assured we’re back on track. The roundhouse is completed and groups from various organisations have been attending with participants from Pembrokeshire Youth Outreach, Havershed(MensShed), Roots to Recovery and some individuals coming on their own.

The activities on offer are becoming more varied too! Just a few month ago we’re visited by a tool maker who’s known all over the world for making reputably, some of the best green woodworking tools money can buy. Nic very kindly taught me how to forge a Sloyd, which is a knife primarily used when spoon carving. We used good quality tool steel and forged, hardened and tempered the blades using charcoal. More on that later. Nic was actually so impressed by what we’re doing at Milkwoods he decided to write an article for a woodworking magazine for which he’s a guest writer.

We bought a charcoal kiln to make our own charcoal to use in the forge, the excess will be offered for sale to raise funds for the project. We’ll also make charcoal to draw with. Lynne Crompton, our secretary happens to be an art teacher and since retirement from looking after Oriel Q, a galley in Narberth has offered to teach groups how to use the charcoal made to draw with in the woodland. Another activity we will be offering very soon.

We’ve also started what we’re calling the outreach program to raise awareness of both Green woodworking and how beneficial it can be to wellbeing and mental health, promoting the craft and the benefits of spending time in our woodland connecting with nature and simply “being” in the space. We’ll doing a variety of presentation’s to The YFC(Young Farmers), The Women’s Institute and other organisations in our community.

Just last month I went to see and had the pleasure of meeting Martyn Joseph. A musician who lives in Wales who after seeing The Milkwood Project website was kind enough to offer financial support. At the end of the concert I decided it was a good time to hop up on the stage and introduce myself and thank Martyn for his support. Luckily my enthusiasm was reciprocated and I told him a little about what great work were doing. Martyn tours many parts of the world and while doing so collects donations and raises awareness for grass root organisations like our and redistributes the funds. His organisation is called “The Let Yourself Trust”