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Artist presents carving to charity

By Liam Smillie

A West Lothian woodcarver has created a piece of work as a gift to donate to national autism charity, Scottish Autism.

Billy Kerr of ‘Your Design Carvings’ in Bathgate decided to create the carving for the national autism charity after a conversation with his good friend and broadcaster, Stuart Cosgrove, a long-time supporter of Scottish Autism.

Billy said: “The idea came from me wanting to acknowledge the wonderful work that Scottish Autism does in the community and across the country.

“I thought the idea I had for the design would be bright and really stand out and after chatting to my good friend Stuart Cosgrove, who was also very supportive of the work of the charity, we decided to go for the design I eventually made.

“The wood I used is reclaimed wood - a local school was being refurbished so the work foreman just said I could help myself to whatever wood was in the skip!

“I was helped with the project by my granddaughter Darcey who is eight years old - she helped me paint the plaque and did a grand job.

“She just loves learning about how things are made and comes in to help me in my workshop whenever she can.”

Billy enlisted the help of his granddaughter in making the piece before presenting it in person to the charity’s CEO Dorry McLaughlin and deputy CEO Charlene Tait - the artwork will now take pride of place at Scottish Autism’s head office in Alloa.

Scottish Autism is Scotland’s largest provider of autism-specific services, enabling autistic people across the country to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Billy said: “I took up woodcarving initially as a hobby after having a terrible accident six years ago when I fell from a roof and suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

“It meant I wasn’t able to continue my job as a structural engineer, which I loved.

“After nine months in hospital and two years of rehabilitation I had the idea of doing something job-wise with wood and decided to train myself wood carving and the rest is history.

“It’s my profession now and although I am still learning everyday about different designs, different woods and different techniques, I am really enjoying working again.

“I love the fact that I can make something from wood that will last for years to come and that it can bring a lot of joy to people - it is just the best feeling.

“It was an absolute pleasure doing this piece and I hope it will be enjoyed for a very long time.”

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Dive Deeper:
West Lothian steps up as almost 300 families offer refuge to Ukrainians
Households in towns and villages across the county have offered to provide home to those fleeing war. The council is…
Cyclist undertakes mammoth endurance challenge to raise charity cash
AN amputee and former soldier is embarking on a 2000km endurance cycle to raise funds for a charity providing support for…
Edinburgh ex soldier plans aid mission to war-torn Ukraine in his camper van
As the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, an ex soldier in South Queensferry has filled his motorhome full of…
Evan Rachel Wood writes herself a letter of gratitude on Mother’s Day: ‘I am a queer, single, working, Mom, who is a survivor’
Wood said being a mother ‘has been the hardest thing I have ever and will ever do’
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Personal trainer scoots from Land’s End to John o’Groats in memory of his wife
Stuart Jamieson hopes to be named a Guinness World Record holder after covering the 995-mile journey in just 11 days.
Personal trainer sets world scooter record in memory of his late wife
Stuart Jamieson raised more than £9000 for end of life charity, Marie Curie, by scooting from Land’s End to John…
Get all your news in one place