The surprising benefits of online bookbinding courses for veterans

The surprising benefits of online bookbinding courses for veterans

Bound by Veterans has been offering craft bookbinding training to veterans since 2012, and we are proud to have been able to support them to carry out their incredible work. 

The benefits of bookbinding 

Bookbinding is both a therapeutic activity, and a way of gaining City & Guilds qualifications for those who were transitioning out of the services due to illness or wounds.  

It became apparent over the years that those who benefited most from the activity were often suffering from PTSD or other mental illness, and their reaction to even the short introductory lessons was surprisingly positive. 

The satisfaction of learning the craft and achieving high quality results not only offers distraction, but boosts confidence and self-esteem, increases manual and creative skills and can lead to City & Guilds vocational qualifications which enhance a CV. The experience is both fun and challenging.

“I think it is very satisfying and affirming, you are proving that you can do something outside of your normal daily routine, and a bit of a challenge” – Veteran 

Bookbinding online

2020 saw the interruption of the charity’s activities due to the pandemic. In response to this, they discussed ways of bringing bookbinding to veterans in their homes via Zoom and funding from The Printing Charity enabled a tutor to be hired to deliver the remote training sessions. 

Learning from home is an attractive option to the veterans for many reasons: there is no need to travel (which is a stress inducing factor for many); home life is relatively uninterrupted; and it offers an opportunity to socialise from a safe place.  The online communities (no more than 6 veterans on each course) offer an easy forum for sharing stories whilst working together for a common purpose. 

Ali Strachen, Chairman of BBV, is passionate about bookbinding’s effectiveness. The benefits of craft bookbinding, particularly to those with stress related illnesses, bears many many testimonials.  We maintain a very strong belief that this craft is helpful to those with mental health issues – and that is not only WIS veterans, but their families and loved ones also.” 

The online classes have been so successful that BBV aims to increase the outreach of their online webinars to offer the services to many more veterans nationwide. 

Find out more about Bound by Veterans. 

Back to work – employment support for turbulent times

Back to work – employment support for turbulent times

September marks the start of the new term for schools and universities across the country but it also brings about the end of the government’s furlough scheme, removing what has been vital support for many households and leaving numerous jobs at risk. Navigating changes at work and in your career can be hard, but you don’t have to do it alone.  

Setting up your CV

Updating your CV can make all the difference when looking for a job or promotion. It can be difficult to know where to start, but thankfully there are lots of resources out there to help.  The National Careers Service, which has a handy CV writing guide including information on what to include and tips to help make you stand out as a job candidate. Target Jobs also have a whole range of advice and guidance on getting started with a CV as well as covering letters. 

If you’ve had time off work due to the pandemic, you are not alone in this situation and it’s hoped most employers will be understanding of the challenges caused by lockdowns and the furlough scheme. However, if you are worried about this impacting your CV, Prospects have some useful tips on looking at gaps in your CV. 

Have you thought about apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are a great option to consider when looking at careers in the industry. They will help you learn the skills you need to know to excel in your chosen field on the job, as well as allowing you to earn a wage. You can really take in a lot from the people you are surrounded by who might have years of experience and learn transferable soft skills that will stand you throughout your career.  

There are lots of different levels of apprenticeships so you can find something to suit you, whether you are just starting out in your career or you’ve been in a job for many years and wish to progress where you are in your role. 

The BPIF offer a range of apprenticeship qualifications for roles within the sector, from customer services to operations. 

Support from The Printing Charity 

We know that money worries can occur as a result of changes in the workplace, but we’re here for you. We can offer people short term grants to help them get back on their feet whilst they are looking for further work, just like how we helped Daniel when he was made redundant. Our team look at all applications with a holistic view, so you get the right help – get in touch

Our free, confidential helpline is there to provide practical and emotional support whenever it’s needed. Available Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, our trained information specialists will try and help you find out what you need to make a plan to move forward. You can also talk to our counsellors 24/7 about anything that might be troubling you, including any work related issues or changes at work. 

We also work with outplacement specialists Renovo, who are there to help when people are facing changes in their jobs. They cover a number of things from CV writing, career coaching, and workshops to help people who might be impacted by site closures with practical support. 

Three winners of Stationers’ Foundation postgraduate bursaries funded by The Printing Charity

Three winners of Stationers’ Foundation postgraduate bursaries funded by The Printing Charity

Three postgraduate students, Michael Bromley, Peter Friend, and Aimée Smith are being helped to fund their Masters’ degrees with bursaries of up to £6,000 each awarded by the Stationers’ Foundation and funded by us.

Neil Lovell, our Chief Executive, says: “Congratulations to Michael, Peter, and Aimée, who impressed the interview panel with their enthusiasm for their chosen course and how a bursary would make such a difference to their career aspirations.”

As part of our partnership work supporting sector-specific training initiatives, we fund three of the 12 postgraduate bursaries awarded by the Stationers’ Foundation annually to help young people on MA and MSc courses leading to a career in the communications and content industries.

Nicholas Brealey, the Stationers’ Foundation trustee responsible for the bursary programme, says: “Funding partnerships like this one with The Printing Charity enable the Foundation, the charitable arm of the Stationers’ Company, to help young people enter and progress in careers ranging from publishing, digital media, and packaging to conservation and information management.”

Michael Bromley, who is studying for a BPIF MSc in Management at the University of South Wales, says: “It’s an honour to be selected for a postgraduate bursary. It’s been a long-term ambition of mine to obtain a Master’s and it wouldn’t have been possible to undertake this course without this bursary.”

Studying for an MA in Digital Media at Goldsmiths, University of London, Peter Friend says: “The bursary award has enabled me to follow a new pathway in life, not only enriching my career, but also passing that knowledge on to the students I work with, pushing my practice and theirs to a new level.”

Aimée Smith, who is studying for an MA in Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University, says: “I am so grateful to have received this bursary. My Master’s has already opened an opportunity to a promising career that could only have been possible with the support given by The Printing Charity and the Stationers’ Foundation.”