A NINETY-YEAR-OLD man making birdhouses and selling them to raise funds for the NHS has reached his £1,000 target - but has now run out of wood with which to make them.

Derrick King, from Witney, has also been making wooden bird feeders and planters, with all proceeds going to the League of Friends of Witney Community Hospital.

No stranger to making products out of wood, Mr King has been keeping himself busy with his hobby since he retired thirty years ago.

Mr King builds bird tables at the High Street Methodist church in Witney throughout the year, and had all the equipment ready to make some more prior to the lockdown.

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“I had all the stuff in the garage ready for May, so when lockdown came I’ve been selling for the NHS instead,” he said.

“I’m pleased to have reached the target but I’m out of plywood at the moment so I can’t make anything - you can’t do much without it.

“I’ve always been interested in charities and I enjoy working with my hands.

“I was making them as fast as I could sell them, each birdhouse could take up to three days to make.

“Because the money has gone to the hospital here that means it stays in Witney, which is the most important thing.”

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Mr King has been making all sorts of things since he retired thirty years ago and has ‘always liked making things out of wood’.

“Everything I make is made with recycled wood - I never walk past a skip - and the best stuff is made from garden fence woods,” he said.

“If anyone in the church ever wants anything making, they always say ‘ask Derek’.

“I just like messing about with wood.”

Although he is now depleted in stocks, Mr King intends to make more birdhouses when he manages to replenish his stocks, and is aiming to raise a further £1,000.

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The money raised from the church sales usually go to a charity working with children in Calcutta, India.

Despite his feats making things out of wood, it was in retailing where Leicester-born Mr King spent his career, before retiring aged 60.

Judy White, treasurer for the League of Friends for 23 years, said: “We greatly appreciate anything that anyone ever gives.

“We receive donations like this and we’re extremely fortunate for that.

“In the past we’ve replaced the furniture at the hospital yet we also do little things like pay for the food for the birds in the garden - things are always coming up.”

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Sonia Jervis has been volunteering with the Witney Land Army during the coronavirus pandemic, and came across Mr King’s handiwork.

Miss Jervis, 53, who runs Deans Hairdressing in Carterton, said: “I was visiting someone up the road and cycled past Derrick and asked what his fundraising was for.

“I now go past most days and I’ll hear him banging away with the wood in the garage.

“He’s a lovely guy and he makes us very proud of our elderly.”