CREATIVE: Sam Kavanagh has started Bootstraps, a not-for-profit organisation set up to assist current and ex-servicemen and women to aid with recovery from any physical or mental health issues.
CREATIVE: Sam Kavanagh has started Bootstraps, a not-for-profit organisation set up to assist current and ex-servicemen and women to aid with recovery from any physical or mental health issues. Rob Williams

Leather craft company takes big step to help veterans

A VETERAN'S two-year drive to support diggers doing it tough will culminate this month when he opens a dedicated leather workshop

Each week Sam Kavanagh invites fellow veterans into his Kensington Grove shed for a class in leather making.

He started offering the service to others after rekindling his childhood love for the craft when he returned from military duty.

So popular has the Bootstraps class become, the former corporal has secured a new building at Gatton to run it regularly.

"It's moved out of my shed and we can do classes for up to 12 people each day when we open," he said.

Mr Kavanagh will officially open the building on July 17.

It will be the result of about eight months of work to secure a permanent location.

"I was putting the feelers out through important people in the Lockyer Valley," he said.

The old Endeavour building, which had sat vacant for about two years, was declared perfect.

Mr Kavanagh said Bootstraps had been going for about two years and had assisted dozens of people struggling with PTSD.

The new building will allow more people to attend in a professional environment.

"I can't wait to see the joy of people doing stuff and creating stuff," he said.

"It's not just a leather workshop it's a drop-in centre.

"It's bricks and mortar. It gives us validation."

Mr Kavanagh said Bootstraps was in desperate need of funding to buy equipment and pay the bills.

"We need a corporate sponsor," he said.

If you can help visit the BT straps Facebook page.