The organisation that would become Chopsticks started at Ashland's Training Centre in Northallerton in 1995, where one of our founding committee members had worked. There was a growing need, spurred on by increased societal awareness, for work experience and skills development activities to support people with learning disabilities. The foundations for Chopsticks were formed by a small group of people who later moved to the Mencap Centre in Northallerton.
It was while based at the Mencap Centre that Graham Cook, who would go on to become the first Manager of Chopsticks, set up a shed to cut, package and then sell kindling to the public. A bank account was opened at Yorkshire Bank to receive the proceeds of kindling sales so that the work team members could earn a daily subsistence payment. This little community group did not have a name at the time. However, it would soon establish one for itself.