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Spoon sale a labour of love

Simon’s spoons were made by his dad. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

The spoons have all been carved carefully by hand, their smooth-grained handles a labour of love.

For Selmes Garden Trust staff member Simon Ridder, 42, the spoons are very special; a last project done by his father before he succumbed to dementia.

The proud horticulturist, who has worked at the Blenheim-based trust for 10 years, is selling the spoons for a project close to his heart.

He hopes to raise enough money to build a new path at the centre and help keep people safer.

“It’s hard to move the trolleys over the gravel and for anyone in a wheelchair.

“It’s a real struggle in a wheelchair and I want that to be easier,” he says.

Selmes Garden Trust staff member Simon Ridder hopes to raise enough money to build a new path. Photo: Paula Hulburt.
Selmes Garden Trust staff member Simon Ridder hopes to raise enough money to build a new path. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

The recent addition of new path at the centre off Barry’s Rd, inspired Simon, from Blenhim, to think of other possible improvements.

A path between the berry fruit and rose section to the fruit tree bay is top of his wish list.

It will help keep colleagues and visitors alike safe, he says.

“It will be nicer and safer. My dad is sick with dementia and made all the spoons in his work shed before he got ill.

“I think he’d be happy that people like them.

“I would like to let chefs know that they are here as I think chefs would like them too,” Simon says.

Selmes Garden Trust is a non-profit organisation set up to provide employment to enrich the lives of people who live with special needs and disabilities.

Simon, originally from Tauranga is the longest-serving member of the team and works most days bagging fruit trees and tending his favourite plants, camellias.

Trust member Jeanine Wardman says the idea to sell the spoons was entirely Simon’s.

“It’s all been his initiative and we are very grateful,” she says.

The spoons are on sale at the centre’s Windfalls shop for $2 each and all proceeds will go towards Simon’s new path.

For further information visit selmesgardencentre.co.nz

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