A wooden playhouse built by prisoners as part of their trade training, has been gifted and will be raffled by the Selwyn Parenting Network this Christmas.

“Rolleston Prison Construction Yard is a working training facility,” explains Rolleston Prison Principal Instructor Gerard Stokes.

“The prisoners in the yard are engaged in the refurbishment of houses for Housing New Zealand post Canterbury earthquake and they are also gaining trade qualifications in construction and associated trades.”

“The construction of the playhouse was an easy way for the men to practise their new found skills while contributing to the local community.”

Prisoners have built a wooden playhouse for the Selwyn Parenting Network's Christmas raffle..Formed in June 2010, the Selwyn Parenting Network is a local community group providing support and network opportunities for parents and caregivers of children of any age.

“Our goal is to ensure continued support can be offered to local families,” says network coordinator, Kate Webb.

“To strengthen families and communities in Selwyn and to enable parents and caregivers to grow a safe and happy family, at home and in the community.

“Our community has changed a great deal since the Canterbury earthquakes and the network wanted to do more to help families facing additional challenges and help those who moved into Selwyn to feel connected and supported in their new community.”

As a result, the Network now organises more regular coffee catch ups, speakers and workshops for parents/caregivers, and fun activities, picnics, and community events for the children.

The raffle and fundraising marks the Selwyn Parenting Network’s  5th Birthday Celebration (on 3rd Dec) and offers the opportunity to provide a family with a great present for Christmas while raising some valuable funds that will enable SPN to continue providing families, parents and caregivers with access to various services and support across the Selwyn Community.

The playhouse has been constructed using quality materials, and designed with safety in mind including ground level, easy access for children. A proportion of the materials were kindly donated by Mitre 10 MEGA Hornby.

The Rolleston Prison construction yard put together the drawings for the playhouse and have constructed it, together with a toy box.

“It has been such a valuable exercise to collaborate with Rolleston Prison and showcase the trade skills that the offenders are learning as part of their rehabilitation,” says Ms Webb.

“It is our aim to collaborate with the whole community in providing opportunities for the families of Selwyn, so that we can continue to strengthen families and communities through supporting the parents, caregivers and their children.

“We are very thankful for the support of the prison and the men who have built this for us.”

Most of the men who worked on the playhouse are also fathers, brothers, and uncles of young children,” says Mr Stokes.

“They are very pleased to have been able to contribute to local families through their newfound skills, and I’m sure they were taking note and thinking about how they could do this again for their own family on release.”

  • Selwyn Parenting Network will sell Playhouse raffle tickets from Sunday 26th November through to Friday 15th December, when local Police will make the draw Rolleston picking the winner)
  • Tickets can be purchased, for $2.50 each or 5 for $10, from the Selwyn Parenting Network at the Selwyn Motor Fest & Family Fun Day on Sun 26th