Recycling Northwich Boathouse helps raise funds for new boathouse

An innovative fundraising idea at Northwich RC has raised £1,500 towards their new boathouse fund


Gifts made from Northwich Boathouse © Phil Hemsted

It was a sad day for Northwich rowers when their 100-year-old boathouse had to be demolished last August because it was unsafe.

Since then members have been working hard to raise money to build a new boathouse and have come up with some innovative ways of fundraising, including recycling the cedar cladding from their old boathouse.

Masters rower Elaine Young first had the idea of recycling the wood while husband Philip Hemsted went one step further, crafting it into decorative blades, snowflakes and medals to sell as mementos with all proceeds going towards the new boathouse.

“I’ve made over 200 items so far,” he said. “I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the demand!”

The orders piled in as members, including Olympic champion Matt Langridge, were keen to buy a piece of their club’s history.

“Parents wanted the medals for their children and I customised them by adding their names on them,” added Hemsted. “I think people wanted the connection with the old boathouse and welcomed the chance to have the memorabilia.”

Hemsted used CAD software for the design and hired a laser cutter at the Trafford Fab Lab to cut the wood.

The orders piled in as members, including Olympic champion Matt Langridge, were keen to buy a piece of their club’s history

“The laser cuts through like a hot knife through butter.

“An individual medal takes about a minute to cut. Cutting the logo is a bit more intricate so this takes a bit longer.”

He has also designed items to order including some medals for his neighbour’s daughters who row at Warrington RC.

“Somebody said an oar would make a great key ring holder so I was able to get two hooks and do this. I’ve got lots of other ideas for specific events and occasions.

“We’re also looking at making special prizes for the Spring Head. I’ve just marked them up and made the prototype.

“It was satisfying to help the club raise funds for the new boathouse. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about making things with a laser cutter!”

For more information about funding sources for rowing clubs then click here.

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