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Antonio Vocale

This is the name we heard for the wheelchair group, some of whom we used to see coming in and out of the cafe, especially Brian, always cheerful. So what happened to them? I discovered the answer when I met Brian in his wheelchair, half way down Dartmouth Park Hill and he told me that they are now at the Hilldrop Centre - where Antony Vocale still manages the group - there's a lovely report about their current activities, see: Kingsley Organisation

Sessions are being held from 10am to 11.30am, at Hargrave Hall on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, at United Reformed Church on Wednesdays  and 1.30-3pm on Tuesdays at Mary Brookfield - see our current Timetable.

It is planned to add another session at St Mary Brookfield from 10am to 11.30am on Wednesdays - see All Aboard Stay and Play poster, as well as Lunch on Tuesdays at St Mary Brookfield.

We have secured funding for a new woodwork shop in Raydon Street. From this article in the Camden New Journal many of you will recognise Ricky, who is already involved in Carpentry at HNCC -

This is a new investment for HNCC - second phase is a new arts complex. This will be a new community space in addition to the new centre planned on the Bertram street site. We have done this through a new Partnership with the Conservation Foundation - look at this link:

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

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.

Best wishes to all
Andrew Sanalitro, Centre Manager