Carving a trade for trainee Peter

A wooden pen on gift packaging
14th November, 2022

Peter joined our Steps at Strawberry Field programme, which empowers young people with barriers to employment to meet their goals, with one request - to get paid for doing what he loved. Peter is a born carpenter, with his passion for woodwork obvious as soon as he arrived at Strawberry Field to start on the training programme.

The most common role involving woodwork is joiner however Peter was clear he didn't want to work as a joiner but as a carpenter, where he could be given the opportunity to create bespoke items of work. This was a challenge to fulfil, as the obvious roles in this industry did not meet his needs and the employers with roles that fit were not able to offer him the paid employment he wanted.

So the team at Strawberry Field considered all options and came up with an inventive way to make this happen. Working with Strawberry Field's Merchandise Manager, we saw an opportunity for Peter to be recognised as the craftsman that he is. Peter has now become a supplier to our Strawberry Field shop, creating unique wooden pens from sycamore wood, responsibly sourced from our very own gardens at Strawberry Field.

Peter told us, "I got interested in carpentry when my dad showed me how to use a saw, the concept of making thing not just from wood but metal interested me, working with scraps and repurposing otherwise useless items felt better than throwing things away.

I enjoy it because the tools and what I can do with them never get boring and the ability to make things that get used and last a long time is immensely satisfying."

You can purchase Peter's beautiful, handcrafted pens in the shop at Strawberry Field or the online shop here.

“The plan to open Strawberry Field to the public for the first time - so people can see a unique exhibition about the home, how and why the song was written by John, and allow visitors to explore the grounds as John did as a child - is very exciting.”

Lady Judy Martin OBE