We have a range of work opportunities with The Wood Store from retail management, stock control, collections, and deliveries, to woodworking in the workshop.
There are no vacancies currently available – we’ll list new posts on this page so keep watching!
Volunteers are at the very heart of what we do. We strive to make volunteering with us fun and rewarding.
Whether you want to get back into the swing of working with a team, get experience in the construction industry, or you just have some spare time and want to keep yourself busy, come and see what we do.
We especially welcome applications from anyone finding it difficult to get back into mainstream employment, are from socially isolated backgrounds, or live with mental or physical illness or disability.
All volunteers are expected to play an active role in the project, helping others increase their skills and confidence too.
We’re always looking for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to join us as volunteers. You don’t need any experience and you can work as little as a few hours a week. There are plenty of different areas in which to get involved. We’ll find the one which works best for you or you can get involved in all aspects of our work. That could be:
staffing the vans to collect wood
preparing timber for sale
working in the shop, serving customers, and doing admin to keep the business organised
making wooden products
educating the public through publicity, displays, and social media
supporting or mentoring more vulnerable volunteers
Some people also get involved with sales, marketing, designing products, or any other tasks needed to operate a busy and successful small community business. Make no mistake – we can get really busy!
Get in touch and we’ll have an informal chat so we can get to know each other.
Once trained, volunteers need to be able to work independently and not be at risk to themselves or others. We regret we can’t accommodate those who require constant support due to the nature of the work undertaken.
How to apply
How to refer volunteers to us
If you're an organisation looking to refer potential volunteers to us, you can see more info here.
Join us as a trainee
One of our main aims is to provide education and develop practical skills within our community through our formal qualifications. You can learn about forestry and timber, retail, business administration, safe working practices and waste management.
Qualifications are free to those whose social or economic circumstances mean exclusion from work including, but not limited to, mental or physical illness, or disability.
We also provide informal on-the-job learning for trainees in all aspects of the business including collections, logistics, retail, shop design and display, furniture construction, customer service, sales, and delivery.
The formal qualifications have been developed by the National Community Wood Recycling Project, our membership organisation, for us and similar projects elsewhere in the UK.
Training units are designed to teach safe operational techniques, business skills, and a firm understanding of forestry, timber, and environmental services, developing the skills needed by employers. They cover:
health and safety
safe working on building sites
working with tools
working with power tools
full manual handing and risk assessment awareness and capabilities
forestry, timber types, and the wood economy
office and retail skills
waste and recycling
These qualifications allow trainees to gain what is often their only accredited and nationally recognised qualification and help them make the progression to further education if that’s what they want or paid work either with us or another local business.
This benefits not only the trainees but our wider society as they leave benefit dependency, undertake paid work, and become a valuable and integral part of our circular economy.
In 2019, we trained 81 people.
Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project also operates a workshop where furniture and other quality wooden items are made, many of which involve complex and sometimes dangerous tools and techniques. Many trainees and volunteers have joined the project to gain woodworking skills and for the therapeutic value of learning to make beautiful wooden items that will give pleasure and save resources from disposal.
How to apply
“One of the things we do best is help trainees and volunteers who’ve been marginalised from the workforce through mental health problems, homelessness, alcohol or drug related issues through training and mentoring.
I’ve seen them come from the tail end of addiction, living in a halfway house, to fully rebuilding their lives free from past problems. Some go onto further education or return to a workforce after long-term isolation.
We offer a secure, structured, non-judgmental environment with a friendly team to help get to the next stage. Simply having a daily structure with start and finish times, a cup of tea and lunch as a team, can really boost confidence. It’s an essential part of rehabilitation and getting back into society without pressure.
Many of our staff members were once marginalised and have gone onto build futures for themselves working with us and so have empathy, ready to support others.
We have many success stories. Recently a customer emailed to say a family acquaintance had turned his life round after volunteering with us and is now in full-time employment making furniture. Without that support he would not have been able to get to this place.
Others have gone onto to study at the MET (Greater Brighton Metropolitan College); some have used the project as a springboard to start their own business; and others simply built long-term friendships, helping to get them out of social isolation.
It’s easy to say that working at The Wood Store is the best job I’ve ever had; the many challenges are offset by the rewards of working with some amazing volunteers and trainees.
The best days for me are when we have a full order book and a workshop full of people just wanting to learn how to make stuff. I almost fly home!”
General Manager at The Wood Store
If you have the time, energy, and desire to join our team as a mentor, we’d love to have you on board.
As a volunteer or trainee, you can benefit from regular get-togethers with a mentor – a trusted and competent adviser. Mentors bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge, and practical skills from a range of backgrounds relating to our project.
If you can offer our volunteers or trainees that little something extra in these areas, do call us on 01273 570500:
administration, time management, general organisation
enhanced self-esteem and confidence
preparing to go back to work
attending job interviews
How to donate
The Wood Store needs funding! Any donation large or small will be gratefully received. Most of our funding comes from collections and sales, designed to be excellent value, so we’re able to divert wood from disposal, making it available to everyone regardless of income. We’re only able to access very limited sources of external grant funding.
We ensure donations go towards:
training our beneficiaries
supporting people return to employment
You can donate here, for which we send you our hearty thanks.
Looking to refer?
If you're an organisation looking to direct potential volunteers to us, then our information for referrers and a poster is available below for you to download.
Please note that volunteers need to have the ability to work independently and not be at risk to themselves or others.