The first step of our journey, not including a sneaky little holiday on the North Devon Coast, landed us up at Windsor Hill Wood, a community in Somerset.
Windsor Hill Wood is just a family who live a large house with their own small farm and woodland. But they’ve done a very selfless thing, they’ve opened up their home to anyone who needs help. Whether they’re needing help with rehab, dealing with grief, homelessness or depression, anything where they’re in need of kindness and support.
We spent a long weekend with the Jones family and we all really loved it.
There was always something to do, a constant hub of business and new people going in and out. The men sat round the stove, drinking tea and discussing the design of a woodland shelter, the women laughed and talked in the lovely kitchen, cooking the next meal we’d all eat together, us kids sat in the sitting room writing songs and comparing musical instruments. Either that or we’d be outside by the goats or the chickens. Maybe on the trampoline doing tricks or in the dusty workshop pottering about.
They had three really nice kids, all roughly our ages, Benny, Emma and Leo. We had such fun together, forming a band called L’enigma, with Evan on his uke, Emma as our incredible pianist, Irys playing her recorder, Benny and I singing, and Leo dancing.Benny and I were put in charge of making the sign for the woodland shelter our Dad’s were building. We took the responsibility very seriously. We were in the workshop for ages designing and crafting it. We drew giant letters on pieces of cedar and then we cut them out with a power tool called a jigsaw. That was super hard. The jigsaw is deadly, it could easily take your fingers clean off. I had to follow a very thin pencil line too. I got quite stressed! I had to go really slowly as not to let the blade get off course. You have to understand that you are in control. I don’t think I’m the best at using power tools!
We smoothed them off with sandpaper and oiled them ’til they shone a dark bronze colour. Benny made S & M and I made C & W: Shepton Mallet Community Woodland!
A bit later we took a walk through the woods to the shelter. We cut long poles and helped the men put the roof on by pushing and shoving. It worked. Now me and Benny had the trickiest job, but we couldn’t give it to anyone else. We had to do the honours.We climbed up the ladder and grasped the drill passed up to us, then we had to screw the letters to the shelter, it was hard work. I was trying to use a heavy, powerful drill and not fall off the ladder at the same time. We did it, and were given the title of ‘Design Consultants’ for our efforts. I had a great time at Windsor Hill Wood, made lots of new friends and I hope to go back soon.