Molly says: “Here, we’re just one school”

“…it was at a bad time in my life where I’d come out of a divorce and lost me kids, lost everything through drink and a bit of drugs and bad company, a boyfriend that beats me up. But yeah, coming out to LandWorks has really helped because it gave me confidence to go out the house without a drink in my hand because it’s recommended not to have alcohol on site, and now I’m sober. I’m off probation in June, so two months’ time. I did my hours ages ago, but LandWorks were lovely enough to let me continue coming up because I really enjoy doing the woodwork and the pottery and it’s something that I would like to do in the future, the skills I’ve learnt here. It’s made me have confidence as well, like around other people again, because I’d lost trust in everyone. No-one’s judgemental here and it’s a safe place. So yeah.

The first day I was very nervous. Yeah. I didn’t know what to expect and learning everyone’s names and that first week of … you’ve got to explain yourself basically, is always hard … well, not explain yourself, getting to know personalities, but from then on, whenever you speak to anyone, when you’ve got past that, will just mainly talk about here when we’re here, so it’s not asking about each of our pasts, you know, that terrorise us all because we all know we’ve made a mistake. I’m just glad I had the opportunity to come here rather than doing community service where it might’ve hindered my mental health, like doing something that I wasn’t confident doing because I have got mental health problems.

I will have to carry it with me forever, people’s judgement on me, because people never forget, you know, it’s like a seven-year blip I’ve had and coming out of this, it’s still going to be there for other people. As far as I know I’m getting out of it and improving my life.

I’ve been making chopping-boards. I’ve learnt how to use a lathe. I couldn’t do it on my own yet. I asked Mike, because I’ve got a couple of months left, if he can go over it again with me because I like a mission to be able to crack something so I can do it on my own. I’ve made bowls and a plate, but with direction. The chopping-boards, I can just go off and do them on my own now because Graham’s confident with me using … cutting it out and doing the whole from A to B. Yeah, apart from the planing, I don’t really like using the … it’s just the beginning bit, just planing it, putting it through the planer. I don’t know why, I just feel like it’s going to chop my fingers off. But I’m alright on the bandsaw. I love it.

In the pottery we made the Christmas range for our Christmas party … the table dishes. I did the pattern for them and stencils. Yeah, I did Christmas cards and wreath-making. That was fun. I like doing all that. I like doing anything hands-on really. I’m more of a doer than a writer. My writing’s terrible.

I’m starting a new course with that as well […] It’s called ‘Pattern Changing’, to stop me from being sucked into all these controlling, coercive and … being treated like a piece of shit basically. It’s to stop … and the warning signs. If you meet somebody, they say not to tell them what your past … even with all this probation stuff, not to say anything because otherwise people think they can treat you how I’ve been treated. They think they’ve got licence to … oh, she’ll stick around, you know, and men do do that.

I’m going to miss it out here and being out in the wild, you know, if feels like … I love the chickens. The chickens are ace. I go and talk to them all the time, but I’m not allowed in there at the minute because of their poo … mind you, they’ve just stopped that haven’t they, but I still don’t think I’d be allowed in there. I like the birds tweeting, you know, I just feel free and even the bus journey here, you know, you put your headphones on, and you just switch off. So yeah, I’m going to miss it.

I think everything’s really good here. There’s resettlement and stuff, that’s really helpful … Elli, I’m not confident on the phone. I’m really bad with phones and stuff and she helps like being my … what do you call it? Advocate, yeah, yeah … places like housing and things.

I like meeting new people, it’s nice and I like it because it’s a mixture of people’s personalities and nobody prefers one person to another. There’s no like buddies is there, best friends, everyone’s actually the same because it’s just the right size. If it was anymore, the table would’ve been separated and if it was any less it could’ve got a bit cliquey. It’s just right. It’s usually between 10 and 15 innit for lunch-time, with the workers included, and it’s just right, yeah. Yeah, if you expanded out here, I don’t think it would work so well. People would be like … you know like … it’s well removed from where I worked before […] they kept in their own units and sat together at lunch-time and it ruins it, whereas here we’re all just one school.“

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