Chesterfield Local Group
David Sanderson founded and ran an outreach called Thom’s Blokes, retired men connected with St Thomas Church, Brampton in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. This was the town where David had retired to after a long life working in the Church Army both in the UK and overseas.
In response to a call to support the TWAM project, he took two of Thom’s Blokes (Alan Smith and Alan Sheldon) down to Coventry to look at the work of the Midlands Refurbishment Centre.
They were enthused and took up the challenge and set up a collection point in Chesterfield initially in David’s garage. That was in 2014 and our journey with TWAM started. Our volunteer base grew through Thom’s Blokes to around a dozen. David soon realised we had to spread the message of TWAM around the area and we borrowed a gazebo and went to church fetes, galas and Christmas tree festivals promoting the TWAM charity. David also gave talks to all sorts of church and non-church groups encouraging people to look in their sheds and cupboards and giving out leaflets.
We also prayed for a more satisfactory base and this prayer was answered in the summer of 2018 when a Christian farmer in the area allowed us to use an empty portacabin in his farmyard. Having many practical volunteers this was soon racked, labelled and boxed. This has given us a lot more scope to handle more tools and to better sort them, so only useable tools are sent to Coventry. One of our volunteers has a scrap licence and we can scrap the rusty tools and send the monies to TWAM.
Sadly in 2020, David died, but we continue the work he started. We enjoy the volunteering and the fellowship and doing something practical in giving back to those less fortunate than ourselves.