Our story of the Purbeck Workshop starts with Paul, who was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome Cancer in November 2012. Paul had recently relocated from London to Dorset and was living in Dorset just 3 months when the diagnosis came. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy in his battle against this genetic aggressive disease.
While on treatment, Paul found great benefit from attending craft activities and social events, as it provided respite from the day-to-day hospital appointments and therapy, whilst also allowing him to take his mind off the daily worries and fears that cancer brings. He found great satisfaction in learning new craft skills and developed a fondness for woodworking.
On days when energy levels were low, just the ability to get out of the house and meet people who had been on the same journey, provided a much needed outlet and social interaction. However, Paul often had to travel some distance to attend events, as there was a deficit within his local Dorset community.
In the summer of 2013, Paul was given the all-clear but the cancer aggressively returned in January 2014. In October 2014, Paul’s health had deteriorated as his cancer become terminal and he started palliative care. It was during this stage, that Paul was inspired to create the Purbeck Workshop to support people whose lives had also been touched from cancer within the Dorset area.
He appointed four Trustees, picked the location of the workshop and selected the 30 November 2014 as the grand opening date. Despite being in palliative care and with limited mobility, Paul visited the workshop often during this stage, overseeing the transformation into the friendly and creative space it is today. The Trustees worked tirelessly day and night to ensure the workshop would be ready in time for the opening.
The workshop opened as planned on 30 November 2014, however Paul never managed to be there, as he lost his battle with cancer, a week beforehand in the early hours of 23 November 2014, aged 35. Paul is survived by his wife Sinead and 2 children.
The Purbeck Workshop is now Paul's legacy to the local community and hosts a wide range of activities and events throughout the year.
With each passing year, we have grown and become more established within the community. In 2015 we gained our official charity registration number 1161110 and we were also recognised by Macmillan Cancer Support as a viable cancer support for Dorset and Somerset - you'll find us listed on their website.
On 18th June 2016, we were delighted that Sinead was honoured at the Wessex FM Heroes Award for the Purbeck Workshop Charity. We also continue to collaborate with lots of local cancer support charities within Dorset, find out more on our useful links page.
In August 2019, we moved to bigger premises and we are now based in The D'Urberville Centre, Colliers Lane, Wool, Wareham BH20 6DL - find us here
Paul supported local craftsmanship and had a strong sense of community spirit, so the Purbeck Workshop also has a gift shop of local handmade items that can be purchased when we are open during any workshop session.
Paul would be very proud of everything that has been achieved to date.