A WOOD workshop to aid the recovery process for wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans has been officially opened in Catterick Garrison.

Help for Heroes-run Phoenix House recovery centre held an official opening of its new woodwork shed, after attendance for small classes in the subject rocketed.

Chris Morgan, a volunteer who helped to make the designated wood workshop a reality, said: “I had been coming in to Phoenix House for the last 20 months to give woodwork classes and found them to be really popular."

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Warrant Officer Morgan launched an appeal to businesses and individuals to raise the cash for the workshop and was astounded at the result.

The campaign has resulted in donations of money, equipment, tools and wood pouring in from the woodworking fraternity around the world.

He said: “We had around £30,000 worth of equipment donated, and what we couldn’t use we have auctioned off to raise more money towards the project.”

The workshop was opened by wood-turner Tony Wilson and Colonel John Bridgeman, Master of Worshipful Company of Woodturners, and of the Recovery Careers Services Partnership.

Col Bridgeman said: “I wish we didn’t have to have recovery centres but, as we do, thank goodness they are like Phoenix House.

"Young or old, man or woman, no matter what your injury, there is something here for everyone.

"The wood workshop is a wonderful idea - we have created a new world for those who come in to use it. It’s a great facility and very therapeutic.”

Mr Wilson, a professional woodworker who uses a wheelchair after a mining accident 30 years ago, said he has been delighted to be able to help the centre.

He said: “The veterans can relate to me because I’m also in a chair, and I can prove to them that it can be done.

“They get a lot out of it, and I’m really pleased to be able to contribute to their recovery.”

Veteran Ted Granger, 47, from Brompton-on-Swale, said: “It is great to have a dedicated workshop now, rather than just trying to fit in the arts and craft room.

“Woodwork is great because you can lose yourself in a project. I hope that in 12 months time I can be making money from woodworking.”