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Unemployed mum dusts off carpentry skills for new opportunities

An unemployed Surrey mum is brushing up her old joinery skills to get herself back in business.

Helen Chandler gave up her flourishing career as a joiner, painter and decorator to raise her two children. A recent run of misfortune, however, saw her marriage and mental health deteriorate and her children taken into care.

The 42-year-old has said her joinery skills have not been lost, however, and she has dusted them off to get back to making a living for herself. This time, Helen told the Dorking Advertiser, she is combining them with her skills as a seamstress to be able to provide clients with a range of services.

“I thought it would be good to use the skills I have,” she told the newspaper, having recently set up two different companies: Busy Bee Sewing & Alterations and Mzzz Sawdust. “This is to try and get me back into society and to build a network of friends as well. I’ve been trying to get myself together and get moving forward.”

She added, “It is a bit weird to have a woman who is so madly in love with timber yet at the same time loves sewing. It's a bit strange, but I've never been one for sticking to the norm.”