Apprentices spreading Christmas cheer 

Thursday 17th December, 2020:      John Sisk & Son alongside Moda, developer and operator of homes for rent, have teamed up to deliver 100 toys for children at the West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre in Birmingham this Christmas.

In addition to this Sisk has also donated a set of handcrafted wooden toys, created by Sisk’s apprentice carpenters at the company’s workshop in Dublin. This is part of a longstanding Sisk tradition which will see 400 wooden toys donated throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.

West Midlands Rehabilitation Service in Birmingham is a key service provided by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust based in Selly Oak. Their specialist teams provide wheelchair services; communication and technology device support; functional electrical stimulation (FES) a technology that helps children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy to walk and amputee and prosthetic rehabilitation.

Work on the wooden toys commences in mid-November and takes four to five weeks to complete, with all staff and management in the Sisk training centre getting involved. Each November, the team get together to decide on the toys they are going to make, sourcing ideas from books, websites and feedback from the charities who have received toys in the past.

The Sisk Christmas toy project was started by John G Sisk at the Sisk Joinery Workshop in Dublin almost 45 years ago. Today, Sisk has a state of the art training facility for apprentice carpenters and joiners located at its head office in Dublin and also has ten apprentices working at its Broad Street project.

Sisk is currently building The Mercian (Birmingham’s tallest residential tower) at Broad Street in Birmingham city centre for its client, Moda. The project is located on the former site of the renowned nightclub, The Click Club at Burberries.  

Working in partnership with Moda, Sisk has already delivered on its promise to create hundreds of new jobs at The Mercian. In addition, with support from the WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority), a bespoke Training Hub has been implemented on site.

Simon Dingle, Regional Director, John Sisk & Son, said: “This past year has been extremely challenging for everybody, particularly families who need to access vital support services. We are delighted to be able to team up with Moda to deliver our handmade toys to West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre. One of our greatest success stories has been our ability to give back to the many communities in which we work through our longstanding Sisk Christmas toy story. The toys are handmade by our apprentice carpenters and joiners, utilising the skills taught to them at our training centre. We would also like to thank all our supply chain partners who have donated a further 70 commercial toys as part of our donation the West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre.”

Tony Brooks, Managing Director at Moda, said: “With the extreme challenges faced by so many this year, it is a true pleasure to be able to bring some Christmas joy to children in Birmingham, our newest home. At Moda, we work hard for the communities we live in and The Mercian is no different – we’re proud to stand tall against the Birmingham skyline and give back to the community as we look ahead to everything we can bring to the city when we open late next year.”

Jacqui Atkinson, acting Centre Manager,  West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, said: “A big thank you to generous donations from John Sisk & Son and their client, Moda. Sisk have donated a number of outstanding hand-crafted wooden toys for children and young people to play with when they access future clinics at the centre. And if that wasn’t enough, over 70 children who have undergone an upper limb or lower limb amputation arising from trauma, disease or congenital problems will receive a Christmas gift this year from Sisk, Moda and their supply chain partners from The Mercian site. Children who attend the West Midlands Rehabilitation Service are in for a special treat this Christmas!”