ITM Southern Lakes steps in to support Wānaka Community Workshop

Jul 01, 2022

Some volunteers will be able to turn into employees at the Wānaka Community Workshop thanks to sponsorship by a local building supplies company.

ITM Southern Lakes has come onboard as the Gold Sponsor for the not-for-profit charitable trust.

The Wānaka Community Workshop (WCW) operations is heavily reliant on volunteer time, contestable funding and community goodwill to meet its operating budget and outgoing expenses.

All this while balancing the need to deliver the trust’s purposes, which are to build community resilience by enabling community connection, creating social situations where people can develop new skills, and reducing waste in the construction sector.

“Grants pay for things like tools, but sponsorship in the form of cash is a massive boost. Thanks to ITM’s support, Wanaka Community Workshop will be able to scale up its operations by turning some volunteer roles into paid roles, which will enable us to increase our capacity and assist more people in the community,” says WCW co-founder and trustee Ben Acland.

“ITM have been supporting us with a trade account, special rates and deals on tools and timber since we started, and by giving us wood that could not be sold but was still suitable for the WCW’s trap making projects. It’s a long-standing partnership which has made it possible for WCW to operate."

ITM and WCW are looking forward to working together to reduce build and construction waste, Mr Acland says. 

Now in its second year, with a growing membership base, a strong local MenShed group, and a workshop product offering, the WCW has good community engagement and is collaborating with many environmental trusts in the Upper Clutha region, Mr Acland says. 

What is the WCW?

The WCW fills a need in the community for a place where people can access tools, knowledge, and companionship.


Using surplus materials from the construction centre (which would otherwise be landfilled), WCW provides a place and the space for these materials to be turned into items which benefit the community (e.g. pest traps, community libraries, community food donation stalls). 


The WCW space is staffed by volunteers, including the Wanaka MenShed, who have specialist knowledge of woodworking, carpentry, repair and restoration. WCW provides an opportunity for much-needed social contact and a sense of purpose for vulnerable members of our community. 

Main image (Supplied): Hemi Karamaena, of ITM, and Allan Harvey, of the WCW MenShed.

Support Crux Support Crux