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Australia is a vast and vibrant country. There is so much to appreciate about our country’s natural flora and fauna. Recently, Dave from Bushbred visited our Campbelltown and Green Valley Day Programs to show us how to extend the life of our natural treasures and learn new skills for life.

Making candleholders was the order of the day at Campbelltown and Green Valley. Clients were supported to develop their skills and take on new life experiences to create a candle holder for themselves.

Candle holders are one project that Dave introduced to clients on-site during COVID-19 restrictions.

Dave discussed the history of the branches that he had collected from the paddock at Cherrywood Friendship Farm. Each has its own story to tell. One branch that he found had the char of bushfire. Another was an Acacia tree – a hardwood – that had died simply due to old age.

Dave talked to the groups at Campbelltown and Green Valley about how the bark protected each species of tree while it was living and also pointed out the unique patterning of each piece of wood.

Branches are usually left to rot, but candleholder making programs at Afford grant it with a new purpose.

Clients at Campbelltown and Green Valley are supported to develop their skills. With support from Dave, each client had the chance to learn how to safely use a saw. Branches were cut down into manageable sizes to make candle holder stands. This activity promoted teamwork and trust.

Watch: See our Green Valley clients in action, making their candle holders.

Dave supplied a few extra pre-cut branch pieces for clients to create into candle holders. Sanding and lacquering was all that was left to do to finish the creations.

These bush art sessions are an introduction to a new program being established at Cherrywood Friendship Farm in partnership with Bushbred, called Cherrywood Mates Shed and Fix-er-upery.

Mates Shed is a social enterprise for people of all abilities to partner to create bush art. As a social enterprise, all funds made from the sale of the art will go back into the program. The initiative will provide a support group for social interaction and learning.

Afford in partnership with Bushbred work hard to incorporate programs and activities for clients that are engaging and explore life skills.

Find out more about bush programs on offer at Afford Day Programs.