Apprentices handy work given Harlan’s seal of approval
Four play houses built by apprentices during this year’s ITaB Apprentice Challenge were gifted to four deserving local charities at a special evening at NorthTec’s Future Trades recently.
The apprentices and their employers made the presentations to representatives of the charities that included: The Child Cancer Foundation (Northland branch), Project Promise, The Salvation Army and the Whangarei Women’s Refuge.
The trendy-looking 1.5m x 1.2m plywood play houses tested the abilities of the apprentices with numerous technical aspects needing to be overcome, such as the round windows, a 25 degree pitch gable roof, and scalloping detail.
Michael Ferris, who took out the 2012 ITaB Northland Apprentice Challenge title was overseas, but his father Neil, presented Michael’s winning play house to the Child Cancer Foundation in his place.
Harlan Smith, and his younger sister, Kiarah, were the first youngsters to get to try out the new playhouse that had been donated to the Child Cancer Foundation. Two years ago, Harlan 3, was diagnosed with leukemia.
His father, Darcy, said that each month, Harlan receives chemotherapy at the Child Health Centre in Whangarei and every three months travels to Auckland for lumberpunchtures and inthetrical methotrixate as part of his chemotherapy. With the treatment, Harlan is now on track to fully recover from his cancer Darcy said.
He believed that everything the Child Cancer Foundation and others do for families that have children with cancer, like this donation, was amazing. When first being faced with Harlan being diagnosed with leukemia, Darcy, and fiancé, Letitia Rossiter, believed that they would be left to fend for themselves, but the support received by the Foundation and generous supporters proved them wrong in that regard.
Their family support co-ordinator for the Child Cancer Foundation (Northland branch), Abi Alger, said that a sick child’s journey is full of difficulties and a donation like this can provide them with a pick-me-up. “There are always children that are happy to receive and use such gifts,” she commented.
She and Child Cancer Foundation Northland were delighted to be supported and were most appreciative of the student’s donation.
Anita Jones of the Whangarei Women’s Refuge said learning of the playhouse donated to them was a wonderful surprise that she said will be well used at one of its safe houses.
Peter Mullenger of the local Salvation Army said they run a child group on Friday’s and the playhouse they received will add to the enjoyment for the children. Later on, the play house will then be donated to a deserving home.
Colin Twyman of Project Promise said that the play house donated to them would be useful towards their fundraising campaign with donations expected to reach $1.7 million by the middle of this year.
By taking out the regional ITaB Apprentice Challenge, Michael Ferris qualified for the national finals at the third Certified Builders Association of New Zealand conference in Auckland over the weekend of 18 to 20 May. Michael learnt a lot from that experience and the competition he came up against. He hopes to be back in 2013 to challenge for the national title again when he will be a little older and wiser.
Michael, who is employed by Dave Millar of David Millar Builders Ltd, was also selected to take part in the World Skills nationals in Christchurch just recently.
The other apprentices who helped build the play houses for the charities included Brodie Crum (Matt Crum Builders), Brendon Williams (Campbell Lee Construction Ltd), and Rick Schuler who works for Robin Watson.
NorthTec carpentry tutor, Robin Storey thanked and credited the local and national sponsors for supporting the regional ITaB Apprentice Challenge and the donations to the charities. The event was sponsored by: ITM Whangarei, Place Makers Whangarei, NorthTec, ITM, deWalt, Gib, iTaB CBANZ and the AST Trust.
There is an intake in Whangarei for the National Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4) for Semester Two which begins on 16 July.
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