Children at Southland Hospital will now be able to benefit from the creation of a line of brightly coloured miniature furniture, the work of Christchurch Prison Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) joinery workshop.
The workshop has been making the toy furniture for the Child Development Service. In addition they have also made card holders for the hospital’s speech language therapy service.
Garron Starr, CIE Area Operations Manager for Canterbury Prisons, said, “All prisoners involved in the project were encouraged to contribute and showed a keen interest in making the furniture for the child development service.”
The project has produced tangible and creative results in the form of miniature toy chairs, cupboards, tables, and play-blocks. The prisoners spent hours painting all furniture and toy pieces by hand. The card holders for stroke patients rehabilitation were also made and painted by prisoners.
As well as giving new woodworking and painting skills to the prisoners involved, the prisoners were able to feel a sense of achievement in the creation of the handmade range of wooden items.
“The prisoners thought it was a great idea helping out for a good cause and taking part in initiating ideas,” says Garron Starr.
“This is a great way for prisoners to give something back to others in need and to make a positive contribution to the community. The prisoners felt they had achieved something special in helping out the hospital and felt a sense of pride for the finished project.”
The prisoners work will go directly into the community and benefit both children and elderly people. Prisoners were commended for their efforts in doing a great job for the hospital and patients needs.
Jayne Tibbs, the Coordinator/Professional Advisor for Speech Language Therapy acknowledged the prisoners work saying, "I would very much like to thank the men who took so much time and care to make the items for us. The furniture will help us to assess language development in very young children, whilst the card holders will help older stroke patients to take part in group activities using cards.
Being able to communicate can change people's lives and you have all helped to provide services to help those children and adults who find it difficult. On behalf of the Speech Therapy and our patients, thank you."
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