A DEVOTED volunteer has had to take a break from helping the needy while he recovers from a horrific accident with a tree shredder.
Gordon Male was lucky not to lose his fingers when he got his left hand caught in the blades as he cleaned it.
Now he’s on the mend and can’t wait to be back at the drop-in centre at Ebenezer Church, Halifax.
The 76-year-old said: “I was just clearing up some conifer cuttings and every now and again it clogs.
“You go through the motions of opening the guard and taking the cuttings out, but on this particular morning, because of a lapse of memory, I forgot to turn the power off.
“When I opened the guard it started off again and took two lumps out of my fingers. It took some tendons and a bit of bone out.”
After surgery, he is recovering at home at Crow Wood Park, Sowerby Bridge.
He does not know yet when he will be able to return to the drop-in centre, which provides food and support to vulnerable people who may be homeless, suffer from mental illness or struggle with alcohol or drugs.
“I help out in the kitchen, serving tea. But you can’t do it when your hand is all strapped up,” he said.
He and his wife Audrey have been volunteering for around 15 months on Thursdays and Saturdays.
“We just thought ‘Let’s go down and do something.’ We’re both retired and have got a bit of time on our hands. There are a number of us who go down there and we have a bit of fun together,” he said.