Ireland’s leading construction company, John Sisk & Son, is delivering over 500 handcrafted wooden toys to schools, children’s hospitals and charities across Ireland in the run up to Christmas.
The beautiful wooden toys, which were handmade over the past month by Sisk’s apprentice carpenters and joiners at the company’s workshop on the Nass Road in Dublin, will be delivered to South Tipperary General Hospital.
The John Sisk & Son Christmas Toy Project was started by John G Sisk at the old Sisk Joinery over 40 years ago. Today, Sisk has a state of the art training facility for apprentice carpenters and joiners located at its head office in Dublin. This facility is headed up by Training Centre Manager, Dave Tracey.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr Tracey, said: “The John Sisk & Son Christmas Toy Project is a longstanding tradition that has gone from strength to strength over the past 40 years. The toys are hand made by our apprentice carpenters and joiners, utilising the skills taught to them at our training centre in Dublin. The toys are donated to deserving causes all around Ireland, the UK and further afield. This our way of giving something back to the communities that have supported us throughout the year.
“The talented apprentices that built these toys are the future of the construction industry and it’s clear to see the satisfaction they get from being involved in such a positive project. At the end of their training, these apprentices will have a skill set that will last a lifetime and enable them to work anywhere. It is incumbent on leaders and employers in all industries, as well as Government and educational bodies, to promote the excellent careers that can pursued in carpentry and joinery works,” Mr Tracey added.
Work on the toys commences in mid-November and takes 4-5 weeks to complete, with all staff and management in the training centre getting involved.
Each November, the team assemble to decide on the toys they are going to make, sourcing ideas from toy books, websites and feedback from the charities who have received toys in the past.
A materials list is drawn up and sent to different suppliers and includes sheet material, MDF, plywood, solid woods like southern yellow pine and tulip wood, wood finishing lacquers, steels, rods, chalk and dusters, graphics, screws and fixings. Suppliers over the years have been very generous and provide special rates for all materials given the charitable nature of the work.
When the work is complete, the apprentices involved, some dressed as Santa, will load the toys into vans and deliver them to the various charities around the country.
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