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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:21am

Selwyn District Council is working with a local community group to help it supply firewood to those in need around the district, and the Greater Canterbury Region.

The Council leases 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.

Al Fone from the Firewood Mission, at his charity's holding area at Broadfield. The Council’s Acquisitions Disposals and Leasing Manager, Rob Allen, says a resource consent allows the charity to use part of the pit to prepare the wood.

He said it is fantastic for the Council to give back to a charitable organisation working to help those in need.

Last year the Firewood Mission delivered 333 cubic metres of wood to 111 households. Each household receives three cubic metres.

Firewood Mission team leader Al Fone says his team of around 30 volunteers has worked tirelessly felling, splitting, sorting and delivering wood.

He said they are grateful for the help they receive from the likes of the Selwyn District Council and without it the work they do wouldn’t be possible.

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.

Once a year the Firewood Mission comes into Council to pay its ‘peppercorn’ rent for the pit usage.