The Wiltshire Barn Project

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal presents certificates to ex-servicemen

07 November 2013 / Be the first to comment

Ex-servicemen at a new charity have been awarded City & Guilds certificates by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. 

The ex-servicemen were trained in bookbinding by charity The Wiltshire Barn Project, which supports injured and sick ex-servicemen and women. The craft not only has great therapeutic benefits, but also provides them with a qualification, which can help them gain new employment. The charity is the creation of Jonathan Powell, a former soldier and bookbinder, and Rob Shepherd of Shepherds Bookbinders. 

The Princess Royal, who is the President of City & Guilds, visited the charity on Friday 1 November in Woodborough to meet the veterans and see their work. The books that they produce are sold by high-end retailers in London and are in great demand; all income from the book sales is directed back into the charity. 

During the visit The Princess Royal presented a City & Guilds certificate to Terry De’Ath, the first veteran to gain the bookbinding qualification. Terry is a former Royal Artillery Sergeant who sustained a severe back injury at work, and was given a medical discharge from the Army last year. Also receiving certificates were charity founder Jonathan and the course tutor, Diana Illingworth-Cook.

‘I only had a few qualifications outside my career in the Army, so getting this certificate means a lot to me,' said Terry. 'It has definitely helped to rebuild my confidence and I’ve achieved something I’m really proud of. Receiving my certificate from City & Guilds’ President is the icing on the cake.’

Meanwhile, speaking at the event, Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds added: ‘At City & Guilds, we’re all about helping people get into a job, progress on the job and move onto the next job. This is so important to the courageous ex-servicemen that we have met today; qualifications not only build self-esteem and confidence but will show that they have achieved a nationally-recognised level of craftsmanship. They provide people with opportunities that they otherwise would not have had.'

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