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
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.