St Barnabas chosen as club’s Christmas charity

West Sussex Woodturners with Jennifer Murrell from St Barnabas House
West Sussex Woodturners with Jennifer Murrell from St Barnabas House

The West Sussex Woodturners has chosen St Barnabas House as its chosen charity this Christmas.

On Sunday, they presented the charity with a variety of hand-turned wooden items for them to sell in their shops and Christmas fairs.

Longstanding member Rob Inglis recommended St Barnabas because of the ‘amazing work’ the charity does for patients and their families.

He said: “I started to support St Barnabas House after the loss of my eldest son aged 38 and have regularly made items to help them raise essential funds over the past nine years.

“The first thing I made for them was a pirate’s chest so that the names of patients from their old building could come with them to their new premises and this is now buried in their chapel.

“This charity does so much amazing work for patients and their families and I could not be prouder that the West Sussex Woodturners have appointed it as their chosen charity.”

The West Sussex Woodturners meet on the first Sunday of each month and the 100 strong members which include men, women and children from all across Sussex supported the call to action by producing the items in their individual workshops.

Each person was asked to turn an item to be donated to St Barnabas House and the club had an amazing response with more than 90 hand-turned wooden items being given.

An array of bowls, pens, candlesticks, platters, wooden fruit, light pulls, a solitaire set and a children’s stool were just some of the items given.

All made from a selection of different woods, and finished with natural wax, dyes and specialist paint finishes, many members were keen to donate some of their finest work.

Jennifer Murrell, who attended the event on behalf of St Barnabas House, said: “I was not sure exactly what woodturning was when I was first approached to receive these gifts and was keen to see what we were being given.

“The time and effort that has gone into producing this wonderful array of items is amazing and we will be taking them with us to sell at the Christmas events.

“To have something hand made by local people that will benefit a local charity is special and the funds raised from their sale will be a huge help.”

Ian Rudge, chairman of West Sussex Woodturners, said “Our members share a passion for woodturning and frequently work behind the scenes to provide support and assistance to a variety of community projects.
“We thought Christmas would be a time when something special and handmade would make more of a difference, and this is the first time that the club has worked together as a whole to support a local charity. After this amazing success, I am sure we will be doing again.”