Completed Tie

Community service workers sew cool neckties for bushfire volunteers

Offenders under the supervision of Queensland Corrective Services are helping fire fighters and volunteers keep cool in bushfire affected areas of New South Wales and on the Sunshine Coast.

As part of a community service project, a group of offenders under supervision in the community have been sewing cooling neckties with the help of Community Corrections officers from the Maroochydore office.

The ties take around an hour to create and are made using cotton fabric which is sew into a sleeve that is filled with water crystals.

Once they have been soaked in water, they can be tied around the neck or wrist and keep the wearer cool for hours.

Probation Services Officer, Stacey Ohlin, is in charge of the project and said it was a simple but effective way for offenders to give back to the community.

“We have all seen the effects of the weather across the country this summer, so we thought it would be a good time to focus our community service projects on supporting those who help protect our community,” Ms Ohlin said.

“We know through research that community service projects give offenders an opportunity to give something back to the community as well as learn valuable skills which may help them find employment.

“This can help reduce recidivism and help keep the community safe while giving the offenders meaningful work that helps them becomes more productive members of society,” Ms Ohlin said.

The project has made over 70 of the neck ties since its inception in early January.

Many of the ties have been sent to areas affected by bushfires in New South Wales, and feedback from the volunteers has been overwhelmingly positive.

The cooling neck ties will also be distributed to Fire Stations on the Sunshine Coast as well as SES branches.