How could Cynefin add value?

As part of the Cynefin Wrexham Work we asked the management at Caia Park Partnership “how we could help you to improve what you do?”

We discussed the different aspects of their work and one of their social enterprises is Caia Crafts. Caia Crafts is a carpentry project that work with unemployed, people with learning difficulties and people who want to better themselves to help give them skills, experience and confidence that could help them on the journey back to employment.

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Caia Crafts train each person in a variety of carpentry skills that gives them something they can show to potential employers. It helps them realise that they are capable of making a high quality wooden product and helps boost confidence. 

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The group are currently selling the products they make via their website and at country shows in North Wales. Unfortunately because the high cost of wood and machinery it makes it difficult to make the operation sustainable.  As part of the Cynefin programme I looked at ways of removing their highest costs. I initially contacted land owners and tried to find woods that they could take over and manage. Sadly there are very few commercial woodlands in Wrexham. I then tried all the saw mills in the area and asked if they would be willing to offer the group their offcuts. None of the saw mills in the area were able to help. The next idea was to see if the National Trust could help as they had a number of properties in Wrexham. I approached their facilities manager and met on site and brokered a deal where the National Trust will allow Caia Crafts onto their Erddig Estate to remove fallen trees from their woodland. This should provide Caia Crafts with a wide variety of different wood from their established mix woodland. 

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Dave Stait – Woodworking Tutor said “Having Cynefin help us with this project has been brilliant, I haven’t got the time to think about developing relationships like this – all my time is spent working with the groups and teaching them woodworking skills. Having someone with the time and ability to develop ideas and broker relationships on our behalf has been really helpful.”   

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The next issue is how to cut this wood up and transport it to Caia Crafts. This is being worked on as we speak and there will be more news on how we achieved this.