A Chellaston great-grandad has used his love of carving beautiful things from timber to help put more smiles on the faces of Derbyshire children who need a break.
Ken Goode may be 94 years old, but he does not believe his age is any reason for sitting around.
For the past couple of years, he has been busy in his workshop for several hours a day making hand-crafted bird boxes to raise money for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre.
Ken’s beautifully made bird boxes have been selling like hot cakes at The Royal Oak Caravan Park in Skegness, the Lincolnshire resort which is home to the charity’s centre. The charity gives five-day seaside stays to children from Derbyshire who may not otherwise get a break, due to financial hardship or other reasons.
Born in 1927, Ken first started donating to the 131-year-old Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre out of the wages he earned at Derby Carriage and Wagon Works, a railway rolling stock factory.
Now Ken enjoys spending time in his workshop as therapy as he comes to terms with the loss of his wife of 73 years, Winifred.
“My wife passed away and this is therapy for me. People sit about but I can’t do that. I used to donate to the home, and I have seen the centre in Skegness.”
As part of his work for the charity, Ken has made bird boxes in several different designs including in the shape of caravans. Never one to throw away anything that may one day come in useful, he uses timber saved up from other projects, some of which has been donated to him over the years. His designs also make innovative use of items from the home, such as bottle lids to make caravan wheels.
Sales of the bird boxes have raised more than £1,000 for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre in Skegness. Ken is showing no signs of slowing down in his workshop, so money from the bird boxes is still coming in.
Ken’s son Vernon said:
“As a family, we are all so proud of our dad. He has truly proved that not sitting in a chair all day can really help with the mind and body. He works for a few hours each day weather and health permitting. It’s remarkable as his main goal is to help others rather than gain glory for himself. We are very proud of him.”
Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre chairman Alan Grimadell said:
“We are very grateful to Ken for his amazing work making these bird boxes for us. It’s a remarkable achievement for anyone, and especially for someone aged 94! Every penny that is made for us goes to putting a smile on the face of another child who gets to come to Skegness for a week’s break by the sea, so we’re enormously grateful for his efforts.”
With a million people living in Derbyshire, the charity’s plea is for people to be ‘One in a Million’, donating £4 a month by texting DCHCMILLION to 70085.