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bag project a win-win for prisoners and community

by:Xilong      2019-09-19
Six inmates from the high security unit at Whanganui prison are learning new skills while helping the community and the environment.
Since August, 6 free volunteers from plastic bagsPBFW)
Hold four workshops with prisoners each week to make cloth bags instead of plastic shopping bags.
At the time of the Chronicle\'s visit in November 27, the prisoners had a total of 709 packs.
Robin Williamson of PBFW said that funding for the establishment of the workshop was obtained from Te Haahi Tuuhauwiri --
National Quaker trust committee.
MS Williamson said: \"We have been able to use this money to buy a brand new super cabinet and two brand new home sewing machines, and we hope to get more money for another Super cabinet.
\"The staff at the prison were very helpful, provided space, some resources, and recruited volunteers from the prisoners. All [the prisoners]
Great attitude and willingness to participate in this great community project.
\"The Workshop runs a tight production line where inmates cut out fabrics, iron and nail, make handles, sew and sew bags on signs.
Four of the six have already had sewing experience.
\"It\'s a good thing to give back to the community here,\" a prisoner told the Chronicle . \".
\"It would be nice to be able to do something instead of sitting in a cell or in a yard.
I haven\'t sewed before, so I \'ve been learning new skills all the time.
Acting assistant warden Deb Griffiths says the project is a win-win one. win.
\"The prisoners have acquired the skills and are satisfied that they have contributed to the valuable Community Partnership Program,\" said Mrs. Griffiths . \".
\"Normally our community program is for low security inmates, but it is very successful that the correctional staff are very eager to do something for the high security staff.
\"Alan Brogan, senior correctional officer for the high security forces, said the prisoners were\" eager to get mustard \"and expressed gratitude for their employment.
The fabric bag features a unique logo designed by UCOL student Talula Hodder.
In another workshop, three inmates printed the signs on a cotton drill.
The challenge is to find enough fabric to meet the demand.
MS Williamson said.
To date, most of the fabric has been provided by Wrights, sustainable Whanganui reuse College\'s Textile Treasures Room, cancer society furniture workshop and Koha Shed.
The group also received advice and assistance from Wanggu home sewing center.
Bags were provided to The Whanganui City Mission and Salvation Army, which provided food packages, as well as to the Koha Shed.
Some are sold at Green Party stalls in the yellow ui river trader market.
They will also be distributed through Quaker at Taranaki.
The initial goal was to produce 2000 bags.
If the group can purchase fabrics and more cloth bags are needed, the project may continue after that.
Donations to clean the fabric can be stopped at the whwhwhanganui office at Maria Pl 83.
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