Long Service Award

In memory of Chris Loeber.
Who, for over 25 years was an invaluable supporter and legal adviser to Greenaway Workshop

Tim’s  Story

In 2012, Tim had a severe brain haemorrhage resulting in major brain surgery to save his life. Unfortunately, the surgery left Tim with an almost total loss of speech and now has difficulty communicating.

Prior to this, Tim was a welding inspector and has traveled the world as part of his job.

Tim joined the workshop in 2012 and has been caning regularly every Monday and Thursday. Tim has excellent caning skills, which he puts to good use repairing a wide variety of chairs brought into the workshop for repair.

Outside of the workshop, Tim attends a bi weekly art therapy group where he enjoys water painting. Tim kindly allowed the workshop to make two of his paintings into Christmas cards to help raise funds for the workshop.

Tim, and avid Liverpool fan, enjoys the pleasures of travelling around Europe and the UK as often as possible.

Phil’s Story

In 1998, Phil was diagnosed with a Bi-polar disorder. Phil and acknowledges that occasionally, he can be easily stressed and he lacks confidence in himself.

Phil liked doing DIY but had no knowledge, or experience with caning and chair repair prior to coming to Greenaway Workshop in 2012.

Initially attending Greenaway for a trial period of a couple of days, he has been attending twice a week since then. Phil has developed and invaluable skill working with Sheet Cane and Seagrass

Phil says… coming to the workshop gives him a sense of purpose and the opportunity to spend time in a stress free environment with like-minded people without which his life would not be fulfilling

Stuart’s Story

Stuart joined the workshop 15 years ago.

After suffering a stroke, Stuart was left with long-term limited mobility of his right arm and leg. He also suffers with aphasia because of the stroke

Stuart’s wife Sue discovered Greenaway Workshop through her work at a Mental Health Unit. So, after lots of re-hab and other appointments, when Stuart was feeling stronger instead of staying at home all day he began coming along to the workshop.

Stuart has found being at the workshop very rewarding in many ways, his communication skills are improving and having to use his right arm to help weave is helping too.

The workshop is very therapeutic, little pressure, many help from all in many different ways; Stuart enjoys listening to music on his IPod whilst he weaves away.

Robert’s Story

Robert was 16 when he had a car accident, leaving him with severe spinal injuries and fractured skull. He now has restricted mobility and suffers from osteoarthritis. He also lost sight in one eye. He led a very active life working on the farm, playing football and an Army Cadets.

Robert spent many years in rehabilitation, learning new skills and doing light assembly work, but was unable to take on full time employment. With support from his Consultant and Physiotherapist, Robert was referred to the Workshop and was in his 30’s when he started work with us.

Quote from Robert:- ‘From then on my life turned around. I made new friends, learnt new skills and it was great to receive praise from a customer after restoring their chair. I still enjoy helping everyone and I like being occupied.’

Robert has been at the Workshop for some years now. He says ‘I still get job satisfaction as every chair is different. Coming to Greenaway Workshop gives him something to look forward to each day.

Personal stories from other people at the workshop

Toni’s Story

My name is Toni and I found Greenway Workshop through my clinical psychologist, who put me in touch with Bankcoft in Ashbourne. Ralph who works there came out with me for a few weeks to help me settle in.

I started on 20thJanuary 2014 for a 3 month trial. In the three months I learnt how to repair rush and cane chairs, plus how to use the printer. I really like repairing different chairs and stools with cane, sea grass and rush. I get on with all the staff, we like to help each other out if stuck.

Rachael is lovely, she’s doing a cracking job there.

Being at the Workshop has given me something to get up for in a morning.

I like working with my hands. I will recommend my friends to the Workshop.

Paul’s Story

Paul was a successful business man, working for Chubb-Fire. He designed and introduced the new hand held computer throughout the company and responsible for over 100 staff.

Paul was due to go on holiday the day he suffered a serious stroke. He was unconscious for a month and in Derby Royal Infirmary for 10 weeks. He returned home with very poor mobility, poor speech and unable to drive.

Paul says that he received brilliant medical services, but was very isolated at home. His Speech Therapist encouraged him to visit the Workshop. Paul has been coming to the Workshop now for over 5 years.

The improvement to Paul’s health and mobility has been immense. It took him a long time to say one word, now he can put a small sentence together. His left arm was unaffected but very weak. Working on chairs and playing dominoes has made it a lot stronger and this has helped him to regain his driving license and now drives an adapted car. He says that renovating a chair gives him great satisfaction and he feels that he can again contribute something in the workplace.

Paul says that the benefit to him from being at the Workshop has been ‘Massive’.


Carer of Workshop Member

To me, the fact that my husband can attend Greenaway Workshop is of inestimable value, from the point of view of the respite for me, while knowing that he is safe in the supportive environment there.  Those times provide me with opportunities to deal, uninterrupted, with household demands.  I also benefit from the chance to attend medical and therapeutic appointments, Carers` meetings or an adult education class, for my own welfare.  His attendance at Greenaway gives me time to relax and “recharge my batteries”, thereby contributing to my ability to continue, in my demanding role of caring for my husband at home.