Construction firm to deliver handmade toys to Limerick children’s hospitals and charities

Alan Owens

Reporter:

STAFF at one of Ireland’s leading construction businesses have handcrafted toys for a number of Limerick children’s hospitals and charities.

John Sisk & Son are to deliver handcrafted wooden toys to the Children’s Ark Unit at University Hospital Limerick, St Gabriel’s, Enable Ireland and Our Lady’s of Lourdes Childworld Creche.

The beautiful wooden toys were handmade over the past month by apprentice carpenters and joiners at the company’s workshop in Dublin.

“The Sisk Christmas Toy Story is a longstanding tradition that has gone from strength to strength over the past 40 years,” said Steve Bowcott, Chief Executive Officer, John Sisk & Son.

“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 and the UK. This is our way of giving something back to the communities that have supported us throughout the year, and something we as a business look forward to every Christmas.”

Work on the toys commences in mid-November and takes four to five 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 who 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 locations around the country, Sisk Training Centre Manager David Tracey explained.

“Our talented apprentices who 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,” he added.