New home for Berwick Woodworkers – City of Casey

For a long time the Berwick District Woodworkers Club have been doing great things for the Casey community, from bringing people together to donating hundreds of toys each year to local charities.

Now the club has received some goodwill of their own in the form of a new workspace and club house which better caters to the club’s needs and growing membership base.

The City of Casey has relocated the club to a new, dedicated space at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick, with their new and improved facilities officially opened in March.

Council worked alongside the woodworkers to design their new space, which included reusing the old tennis pavilion, relocated from Sydney Parkinson Reserve, for their club rooms, display space, amenities and office. The project also delivered a new, purpose-built shed and workspace, which better enables safe and efficient operation of the club’s tools and machinery.

Berwick District Woodworkers Club President Len Preece said the club had outgrown their former building and that they’re thrilled with their new space.

“The workshop part is totally, completely new. It gives us a lot more room and is a lot safer space for us to operate our machines in compared to our old building,” he said.

“Now that we’re in our new building, the club members say, ‘Gee aren’t we lucky, it’s more than what we expected’. They’re very happy with what we’ve got down here now.”

The Berwick District Woodworkers Club started back in 1986 with a group of just six people. Today, the club operates on site five days a week and has more than 100 members.

The main focus of the club is toy making, with members making more than 900 wooden toys each year which they then donate to six local charities to be distributed to disadvantaged children at Christmas time.

Along with toy making and other projects, the club brings people of all ages and abilities together to share in their interest of woodwork and supports members who have retired to remain active and social.

“Mondays and Tuesdays we dedicate to toy making. Then if our members want to do something or make something for themselves then they can do their own work on other days,” Len said.

“Some of our members are in wheelchairs, or suffer Parkinson’s or we’ve had people come here just for 12 months or so as part of rehabilitation for something; we try and cater for all people as much as we can and help people get back to living a normal life.

“It keeps everybody active in life. A lot of retirees, when they retire, they sit at home, read books and then just vegetate. We feel that’s not healthy for the person, therefore clubs like ours help keep them doing things, keep them working and make them feel worthwhile in the community.”

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