We are pleased to announce that the Society of Bookbinders is supporting the Bound by Veterans project by awarding a Conference bursary to one of its students. Bound by Veterans, originally “The Wiltshire Barn Project”, supports wounded, injured and sick ex-Service personnel who have had to leave the Services prematurely as a result of their condition. It improves their health, well-being and employment prospects through a varied programme of therapy, training, qualifications and work experience in bookbinding. The charity is now in its second full year of operation, and on average provides support to just over 60 veterans a year.
The recipient of the bursary is Wendy Lagden, a former Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer who specialised in Aircraft Engineer Mechanics. Wendy was unexpectedly discharged 10 years ago after being diagnosed with the early onset of multiple sclerosis and now lives in Southampton. Wendy took up bookbinding following her discharge after some initial instruction from her aunt and later advice from Maureen Duke. She has just successfully completed the City & Guilds syllabus up to Level 2, which is the highest level so far available, and will be awarded her City & Guilds certificate in bookbinding in the Autumn.
As a “Wounded, Injured or Sick Veteran” (a Service term) who was discharged prematurely from the Services by reason of her illness, Wendy falls squarely within the criteria for support by Bound by Veterans. She had already considered bookbinding as a suitable part-time occupation that she could continue even as her illness worsens, and is already a member of the Society of Bookbinders. She is keen to gain City & Guilds qualifications in bookbinding in order to give her the confidence to take on private work in the future.