Mission to warm homes

by Kent Caddick

The Firewood Mission is working with the Selwyn District Council to supply firewood to those in need around the district, and the wider Canterbury region.

Council leases, at a ‘peppercorn’ rental, part of a gravel pit at Broadfield near Prebbleton to the Firewood Mission, which uses the space to split and cut the wood to prepare it for delivery for those in need.

The Firewood Mission, which was set up 17 years ago by Al Fone, delivers firewood to those who can’t afford it, to help keep their households warm over winter.

Last year, the mission delivered 333 cubic metres of wood to 111 households, with each household receiving three cubic metres.

Al Fone said his team of around 30 volunteers had worked tirelessly felling, splitting, sorting and delivering wood.

“We are grateful for the help we receive from the likes of the Selwyn District Council and without it the work we do wouldn’t be possible.”

Mr Fone said they often encounter heart-breaking stories and was recently told of one woman who was heating her house with the oven, as prior to delivery of the wood it was the only source of heating in her home.

Council’s acquisitions disposals and leasing manager, Rob Allen, said it was fantastic for the council to be able to give back to a charitable organisation working to help those in need.

He said a resource consent allows the charity to use part of the pit to prepare the wood.