A Derby 96-year-old has carved out many smiles on the faces of local children by hand-making beautiful wooden things in his workshop.
Chellaston great, great-granddad Kenneth Goode marked his 96th birthday by donating £1300 to the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre – which comes on top of an additional £1,000 he had already raised.
Kenneth raised the money by making quantities of beautiful wooden objects including bird feeders, both in a traditional design and a more quirky ‘caravan’ style, along with children’s forts.
He spends hours a day in the workshop in his garden making things from wood, using offcuts and recycled bits and pieces such as bottle tops.
Kenneth’s bird boxes and children’s forts are then sold by his son Vernon and wife Susanna at the Royal Oak Caravan Park in Skegness, where 133-year-old charity the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is based.
Born in 1927, Kenneth’s engineering skills were honed from a young age when he started out as a messenger boy at the research centre for the railways on London Road in 1941, moving on to becoming an apprentice at the Derby Carriage and Wagon Works when he was 15.
Always immaculately dressed Kenneth says he still enjoys using his hands and the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre has long been a cause he has supported.
Enjoying woodwork as a form of therapy after the loss of his wife, Winifred, to whom he was married for 73 years, Kenneth said:
“Woodwork is something I’ve always done but I never had the opportunity to do it so much before, but when my wife passed away I had to do something to get out of a chair.
“I used to take my children to Skegness. Weekend after weekend we used to go. My father used to take me and we followed on.”
“I think Kenneth is just one in a million. The fact that he dedicates his time to helping others – I’m just so proud to call him Dad! He is just remarkable. Without his focus and his commitment and his dedication I would have nothing to sell in Skegness and the children who go to the centre wouldn’t benefit. He is always coming up with new ideas.
“Working with wood gives Kenneth a purpose, rather than just sitting in his chair. What I think is so lovely is he is so selfless and it’s for everybody but him.”
Derby Mayor Cllr Alan Graves paid a personal visit to Kenneth on his birthday along with the Madam Mayoress Ann Graves, and charity chairman Alan Grimadell and his wife Louise.
Cllr Graves said:
“It was lovely to meet Kenneth, who has had a fantastic life – living from 1927 until now. There aren’t many people who can say that these days. He is doing such a wonderful thing for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and we really wanted to come and give him a birthday card and sing Happy Birthday!”
Charity chairman Alan Grimadell said:
“What Kenneth is doing for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre is just wonderful. We’ve been going since 1891, giving five-day seaside stays in Skegness for children from across Derbyshire who otherwise may not get a holiday at all. There is still the same need for our charity that there ever was, which is why it’s so important for people like Kenneth to think of us when they dedicate their time to good causes as he has. We are so grateful for his support.”
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.