I am battle
scarred

Proud to be a social enterprise

Providing skills
and experience in woodwork and joinery

For years, we have innovated our business to stay at the forefront of the oak industry. Today our timber, and our trainees, are handpicked for their strength, quality and character. It’s a pioneering approach to social responsibility, providing a future for those who have otherwise been met with barriers to employment.

Our ambition is to inspire an entrepreneurial spirit

Many organisations will not invest in people with a criminal record, a history of addiction or low skill levels. We’re driven by the challenges these individuals have faced and are motivated by their passion to overcome adversity when given the opportunity to earn and learn. Our unwavering ambition is to inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in those we support, helping to seed new businesses and grow new futures.

A greater proportion of social enterprises are creating jobs than comparable small to medium sized enterprises


First class training in woodwork, blacksmithing and leaded stained glass

We are fiercely proud to be a part of Kent’s Romney Marsh community. This unique area of Britain may be sparsely populated, but it is rich in creativity, humanity and history. We work with local partners to offer courses in traditional joinery alongside opportunities in blacksmithing and leaded stained glass.

More than a million over fifties have been pushed out of work as employees continue to discriminate against older workers


Understanding the importance of experience and tackling age discrimination

Thirty years’ experience as an Agricultural Engineer, Les surely could never be unemployed for long, living on Romney Marsh? Sadly, with ageism rife in the UK Les could not find work, on account of his age, for seven years. When he joined the Growth Rings training programme, however, we started to wonder who was training who; supremely talented, cool as they come and an outstanding role model for our younger trainees, we knew Les had to join our crew.

His favourite saying, "I won't make you money gents. I'll save you money", only gives his role half the credit it deserves. We have the best maintained machines this side of CERN, a true craftsman and gentleman as a colleague (and our cars run like clockwork).


Transforming street smarts and charisma into a career of craftmanship in woodworking

Jimmi was referred to Growth Rings via the local job centre, with two letters after his name: PV - Potentially Violent. Twenty-four years old; four siblings; three sons and expecting a forth with his long term partner. Jimmi had gotten by on wit, street wisdom and charisma for most of his life. It stopped working when he found himself fighting the system; a system that had him locked in a Kafkaesque nightmare. He could have played the victim. Instead Jimmi joined Growth Rings and was able to re-focus negative energy into an even more powerful force.

Jimmi became Growth Rings' first apprentice, developing a desire to do a great job, for its own sake; an attitude that spills over from the workshop into other aspects of life. By the time his fourth son, Bobby, is two years old his father will be a fully qualified wood machinist. A second act to create a role model.


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