Wooden creations for the community from village workshop

Everyone is familiar with the hammering and sawing noises coming from the Bupa Liston Heights Retirement Village workshop.

That’ll be resident Colin Ashley working on his next wooden creation. He’s been utilising donated wood for a while now and making a range of handmade items, which he then donates to groups and locals.

One of his larger creations was a rocking giraffe, gifted to the daughter of the wellness clinic nurse who visits the retirement village regularly. The keen carpenter recently finished a dolls house, complete with little furniture, and he donated it to the local Taupo disability support group Thrive.

Colin’s been a resident at the retirement village on Liston Avenue for a year now, having immigrated to New Zealand in 1980. His background is in bricklaying but he says the ability to make things with his hands actually comes from his childhood in a village just outside of Bristol, England.

“We had nothing when we were growing up and so we made everything we needed,” Colin said.

Even though the workshop is much smaller than the one he had in his family home, Colin’s pleased the village has a workshop when many don’t. He’s especially proud of his handmade wooden cat ornaments and says he’s made a few wooden cottages and plans to make another dolls house as his next project.

“I just see something I like and I think to myself I’ll give it a go and try to make it. I don’t have a plan for making these things, I really just work it out as I go along”.

Bupa Liston Heights Retirement Village Manager Claire Jordan says Colin’s handywork is appreciated by both the residents and community.

“I’ve had some great feedback on Colin’s skill and the quality of his wooden gifts that he kindly donates to others. He takes his time to build them and he makes sure they’re all good quality so they’ll last,” she said.