Quite simply "The Werkswinkel" is a workshop, located in Hornlee, in the picturesque holiday town of Knysna. One of South Africa's premier tourist destinations it offers visitors an opportunity to experience the rare natural beauty of an area which is widely known as the Garden Route. And whilst it has become the stamping ground of the rich and famous there is a forgotten corner ........... in Hornlee where a group of people with disabilities work tirelessly to support both themselves, their families and to make a meaningful contribution to the community in which they live. And this is their story.
The essential purpose of the Workshop is to provide these people with the opportunity of work and over time allow them to develop their skills while producing products which are then targeted for the open market. Apart from the physical construction of new items they also do repair and restoration of wooden furniture.
The woodwork section consists of a workshop that contains a number of industrial quality tools and is the area where wood is cut and prepared for construction. Finish-off work such as sealing and sanding is done in the outside working area and lends itself to community interaction. The tools and materials have been donated by various organisations.
Every working day a bus goes on a circuitous trip through the location and fetches the workers and then later, in the afternoon, drops them off.
"The Werkswinkel" came into being with an initial group of 5 volunteer ladies on November 3rd 1993. Its first premises were donated by Coca Cola. There are approximately 35 people in the group and this number has remained more or less constant since its inception and in actual fact they would only comfortably be able to accommodate a maximum of 40 people in current premises.