TOYMAKERS: Carlyle Gardens residents Brian Barnes, Wally Nicol and Ernie Nankivell in the workshop.
TOYMAKERS: Carlyle Gardens residents Brian Barnes, Wally Nicol and Ernie Nankivell in the workshop.

Bunnings partner with local toy making charity for kids

OVER the past 14 years, the residents at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village have brought smiles to countless young faces with their toy-making charity project.

This year they will partner with Bunnings Warehouse Bundaberg to produce more toys than ever before.

Carlyle Gardens resident Ernie Nankivell has been a key member of the group since it was formed in 2000, and is thrilled with the news and remembers how the group first began.

"One of the neighbours said, 'why don't we start making toys for underprivileged kids?'" he said.

"'Get a few of the blokes who are watering lawns that don't need it and give them something to do.' That's how it all started."

Over the years, thousands of these toys have been donated to national charities like Aussie Helpers and the Salvation Army, as well as local community groups such as the South Kolan Kindergarten.

Several of the village's male residents lead the charge, meeting weekly in the Carlyle Gardens workshop to build the toys.

The project is a great way for the residents to stay active and involved, which many retirees can find difficult as the years go on.

Village manager Mandy Julian said it was a fantastic initiative and she had seen how it benefits all involved.

"For the men especially, it's so important to have a creative outlet and a place to get together and socialise, and this is a great way for them to do just that," Ms Julian said.

"We get some lovely stories from the kids that get the toys and that's what keeps us going," Mr Nankivell said.



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