Prisoners keeping volunteer groups warm this winter

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Waikeria Prison grounds maintenance instructor Steve Adle.
Waikeria Prison grounds maintenance instructor Steve Adle.

Prisoners from Waikeria Prison have collected firewood from trees on the site to donate to local volunteer community groups to assist with fundraising.

Men from work parties across the site have contributed as part of their work to ensure that the site and farm is maintained and old trees brought down.

"We don't want to waste a useful resource, so we decided we would donate it to groups that could benefit," said assistant prison director Jim Watson.

"The guys embrace the opportunity to do something that gives back to the local community and work really hard."

Waikeria is a working prison, which means prisoners are engaged in treatment, learning, industry and constructive activities for around 40 hours a week.

The groups received about 200 cubic metres of firewood, enabling them to raise a combined $12,000.

Te Awamutu Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Ian Campbell was pleased with the donation.

"The support from Corrections assisted with our fundraising towards buying a new vehicle and equipment for responding to medical emergencies in our community."

The community groups involved were Te Awamutu Volunteer Fire Brigade, Otorohanga Volunteer Fire Brigade, Te Awamutu Soccer Club, Pirongia Scouts, Rotorua Community Kai, Te Awamutu RSA, junior sports people raising funds to represent New Zealand abroad, primary schools, marae (to provide heat in kaumatua homes), Te Awamutu Baptist Church, and a local craft group that was raising funds to fill 70 Christmas shoeboxes to send overseas.

- Hamilton News

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