Apprentice carpenters bring Christmas cheer to Limerick children

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Sisk Christmas toys project
One of the apprentice carpenters putting the finishing touches to a toy kitchen

There will be special Christmas deliveries to four locations in Limerick this week as a team of apprentice carpenters bring handcrafted wooden toys to sick and special needs children in the city.

The beautiful wooden toys, which were handmade at the John Sisk & Son workshop on the Nass Road in Dublin over the past month, are being delivered to the .

The John Sisk & Son Christmas Toy Project was started by John G Sisk at the old Sisk Joinery more than 40 years ago. Today, Sisk has a state of the art training facility for apprentice carpenters and joiners located at its training centre in Dublin.

Manager Dave Tracey said the toys are hand made by apprentice carpenters and joiners, utilising the skills taught to them at the training centre.

“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,” he added.

Sisk Christmas toys project
Sisk apprentices carpenters with some of the wooden toys they crafted over the past month.

Work on the toys starts in mid-November and takes four to five weeks to complete, with all staff and management in the training centre getting involved. The team decides 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.

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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 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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