On Saturday 17 March, we ran a one-day workshop for eleven lovely ladies from NW London WI at the Mears Group workshop in Islington.

After grabbing a hot drink to warm up from the snow, everyone discussed their current DIY confidence levels and then our volunteer carpenter Mel kicked off the day with guidance on measuring best practice and an introduction to the tools and fixings needed for each task. Attendees were given the chance to try out drills and take a look at the different wall plugs needed for different materials.

Mid-morning it was time to get practical. Relocating to the workshop, Mel demonstrated how to put up brackets for shelves by drilling into plasterboard and the workshop’s brick walls. After a few hands-on demonstrations, it was the WI ladies’ time to have a go. A short time later everyone had shelves up on the walls with some attendees having a go at racks too.

Following lunch, attendees had the chance to try some more drilling, learn how to change locks or have a go at building flat pack furniture.

Mid-afternoon, Jenny our volunteer plumber led a session on how to fix common plumbing issues including how to find your stop cock, cutting plastic and copper pipes, unblocking toilets, changing washers on taps and lots more.

At the end of the day, attendees were given a certificate of attendance and provided some wonderful feedback on their experience of the workshop. Big thanks to our experts Mel and Jenny as well as the wonderful people at Mears Group who provided the facilities.

  • “I now feel able to attempt to use a power drill! This is something I have always avoided”

  • “It has given me more confidence”

  • “Very helpful and approachable. Friendly atmosphere.”

  • “Everything was a mystery and now I feel like I could have a go myself”

If you’d like to book on to a Practical Woman workshop, you can register for a place on our website. Workshops are £40 with all materials included.

Photos by Jessica Watson and Emma Halford-Busby. To use our photos please contact emma@practicalwoman.co.uk.