WOODWORK and warcraft may have little in common, but a Richmond-based project is helping veterans re-connect with each other - and themselves.

The Veterans Woodcraft project, based on Richmond's Gallowfields Trading Estate, is one of five schemes in the Tyne Tees region shortlisted to receive Lottery money via a public vote.

It was set up in 2015 and provides workshop space and woodwork training for veterans suffering from mental or physical illness as a result of their service.

The scheme wants to expand its Woodcraft Warriors initiative which would see its members become accredited trainers who could then go out into the community and deliver more workshops.

Technical director Ted Granger explains what the project means to him.

"I used to live in Leeds and had PTSD for about 12-years after I came out of the Forces," he said.

"I was suffering all the side effects, I was sitting in woods with knives and everything, the nightmares were awful.

"When you're here (at Woodcraft) you are with people who understand.

"Somebody can't turn around and say 'you don't know how I'm feeling' because we do."

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Another veteran to benefit from the scheme is 56-year-old Tom Hunter who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2003 and dementia in 2014.

His wife Lorna said the woodcraft sessions have made 'a big difference' to his mental well-being.

She said: "He has got life back in his eyes, he has got some confidence back and is smiling again.

Mr Hunter added: "I would say I come here because there is a lot of help.

"It is rewarding to start with a piece of wood and realise what that can become at the end of a project."

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Veterans Woodcraft are appealing for the public to support their scheme via the 'People's Project' National Lottery initiative.

If they receive enough public votes, they will receive nearly £50,000 to expand their training scheme.

Another local project on the regional shortlist includes the Homeless Hub in Middlesbrough.

Their Neighbourhood Welfare scheme offers Teesside's homeless a café and facilities such as showers and a volunteer barber.

Sunderland's Doxford Community Connectors are also on the shortlist.

The project helps to reduce social isolation and supports independent living among elderly residents of South Sunderland and residents with physical or learning disabilities.

Voting runs until noon on April 15 and the three projects in the region with the most public votes will win the funding. Vote at thepeoplesprojects.org.uk