Gavin Philips teaches and popularizes green woodworking starting his journey in the 80’s, very much as a hobby and interest away from his hectic day job as an accountant in London.
Over the years he has gained a wide range of skills and knowledge and has had tremendous fun from carving and turning fresh-felled wood.
Now living in Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway, Gavin decided to share his love and passion for woodworking and set up classes so that other people might experience the benefits and joy of simple human-powered handcraft which he firmly believes is good for both the individual and society.
He offers courses, tuition, and demonstrations of green woodworking and some specialist tools and since folks generally come out of his shed happier than when they went, he calls these activities shed therapy.
The Micro- market Co-ordinator in Dumfries and Galloway Karen Booth first met Gavin at a Public Health Partnership event where he was demonstrating his woodworking skills and was immediately struck by his energy, passion and creativity. He was interested in developing his services and asked for support around possible interest in bread-baking on wood –fired ovens which he believes is a good-for- the -soul -activity.
The Co-ordinator made enquiries about possible funding and interest in bread-baking as an activity with the Stewartry Health Improvement team as a way of bringing older people together, reducing social isolation and loneliness, improving health and wellbeing and developing skills, lifting self-esteem and having lots and lots of fun. They were very supportive of this new, creative and innovative service and the Co-ordinator assisted Gavin with a successful funding application to the PYF Day Fund.
Working in partnership with this enterprising micro- provider, links and opportunities have been made with the Health Improvement Team to develop this service. It is a wonderful example of a creative and alternative service which can be accessed by self-funders and personal budget holders with good community building at its core.