A 28-year-old British Army veteran from Pegswood is putting his metalwork skills into action to raise money for charity with a special summer barbecue and workshop open day.

Cameron Aylwin and Emma McQuitty

Cameron Aylwin was medically discharged from the army after an accident left him with a broken leg, an injury that led to him developing painful arthritis.

In 2020, using the metalsmithing skills he first learned in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, he took on a new challenge and opened a metal gifts and industrial designs workshop in Morpeth.

The business, Aylwin Designs, has gone from strength-to-strength with Cameron’s imaginative and bespoke designs proving very popular, including what has become his signature sculpture, a metal rose.

Now Cameron is using those skills to help raise money for our Foundation and the Northern Centre for Cancer Care Fund, both part of Newcastle Hospitals Charity, to say thank you for the specialist cancer treatment a family member has received in Newcastle.

The Aylwin Designs Charity Barbecue and Open Day on 30 June will feature live music from talented local singers, a professional chef, children’s facepainting, blacksmithing demonstrations and more.

Sculptor Tom Maley, best known for his Sir Bobby and Alan Shearer statues at St James’ Park, will also be on hand to support the event.

Cameron says: “Cancer is one of those things that can hit families out the blue and it’s certainly something that affects us all one way or another.

“This fundraising day is my way of saying thank you for the cancer treatment that has helped my family and I’m hoping it will raise a bit of money to help other people facing cancer.

“We’ll have fantastic barbecue food and I know everyone will love hearing singers Andy Rayner and Ellie McHenry perform. I’m thrilled that Tom Maley will be showing us his amazing sculpting skills and, along with my own metalwork demos, we’ll also have a number of other local craftspeople and artists selling their work and showing us their skills.

“I’m really grateful to all the local businesses and people supporting this event and I think it will be a lot of fun!”

Emma McQuitty, fundraising coordinator at Newcastle Hospitals Charity, says: “Cameron’s enthusiasm and passion for this event shines through and we’re very much looking forward to it.

“There are so many fun and interesting things planned for the day and we expect Cameron’s metalsmith demonstrations to be very popular. His work is absolutely beautiful!”

The Aylwin Designs Charity Barbecue and Open Day on 30 June (Unit 8, Coopies Haugh, Morpeth NE61 6JN) on Sunday 30 June is free to attend and will run from 1pm until 5pm. For more information, please follow @aylwindesigns on Facebook or Instagram.