Our Impact in the UK
Tools with a Mission is more than just a charity; it is a community. Rooted in the spirit of giving, our team of devoted volunteers is the heart and soul of our organisation. Their commitment and enthusiasm empower us to make a difference thousands of miles away, in the heartlands of Africa, and also in our own communities at home in the UK.
We have a team of over 500 volunteers across England and Wales who make our work possible. Our volunteers are with us every step of the way: from driving our vans and collecting tools from the public to refurbishing the tools in our refurbishment centres and even helping out in the office. In short, we couldn’t do anything without them.
Many of our volunteers are also with us for their mental health. Coming in to volunteer gives them a space where they can use their skills to make a significant, tangible impact, improving thousands of lives in Africa. They also have a place to socialise, to sit and have a cup of tea and chat with friends. Volunteering with TWAM allows them to make friends whilst making a difference. Click here to have a look at our volunteering opportunities.
Collecting, refurbishing, and shipping tools creates a chain reaction of positive impact across the UK. Through our activities, we breathe new life into unwanted tools, fostering a culture of sustainability and conscious consumption. This practice reduces waste and its impact on the environment while promoting a circular economy. Click here to find out more about our environmental impact.
In addition, by engaging in skilful work, our volunteers not only enhance their practical skills but also boost their self-confidence and personal growth. These invaluable experiences can be taken forward in their personal and professional lives, contributing to lifelong learning and personal development.
We also support local organisations. For example, offcuts of haberdashery fabric that can’t be sent to Africa are sent to other charities, and they are then used in schools and playgroups. We also send material to prisons, which the inmates use in various craft projects. We’re incredibly passionate about helping out where we can and making sure everything that is donated to us is used well.
By involving local groups such as Rotary Clubs, WIs, and churches in our tool collection, we also stimulate community engagement and increase awareness about global development issues. This involvement promotes a broader perspective and encourages local participation in addressing global challenges.
In essence, TWAM is about empowering people - those in need in Africa and those at home in the UK. Our volunteers aren't simply donating their time; they are contributing their unique skills, energy, and passion to a cause that matters. As a result, they're not only transforming lives overseas but also enriching their own lives and strengthening their local communities.
"TWAM’s vision for helping the underprivileged by providing recycled tools really caught my imagination and spurred me on to get involved. I find this a real blessing."
Merv and Sue
“It gives us structure and purpose in doing something much bigger than ourselves. We miss it when we don’t come in with our friends.”
It gives me the opportunity to meet many generous and thoughtful people. Despite what you might think if you read the press there is a lot of goodwill in this world!
We are passionate about supporting communities, both globally and locally. We support local organisations running projects for people with learning difficulties, disabilities, or additional needs. In this way, our impact is not only felt in the African communities that receive our tools but also in our communities at home.
Re-Create Social Enterprises Ltd
We send haberdashery items that aren't suitable for African projects to Re-Create Social Enterprises Ltd, who use it in crafts projects. Their mission is "to provide quality, great value services to meet the needs of learning disabled and disadvantaged people in a safe, vibrant, thriving, and nurturing environment." The items that we donate to them are used to produce arts and crafts materials which they sell to schools, playgroups, and drama groups. This gives their attendees the chance to learn new skills, whilst also helping to keep materials from being thrown away, giving them a second life instead.
We also work with WS Training to offer training and work experience opportunities to young people with additional needs. We have a number of young people aged 18-24 who volunteer in our Ipswich Refurbishment Centre, typically in tool refurbishment or sorting roles. When they help out with sorting the donated tools into different categories, they're not just tidying up - they're learning important skills. They're getting to grips with organising, categorising, and working as a team, all while gaining a good understanding of different types of tools. But it's even more than that. This experience can be a stepping stone into the world of work, giving these young people a taste of a job environment, building their confidence, and providing a hands-on demonstration of their abilities to future employers. It's a chance to show what they can do and start carving out their own path in the world of work.
Growing Places (Realise Futures)
We work with Growing Places (Realise Futures) who improve and promote the economic and social well-being of those who are underserved and/or disabled. We send them gardening tools, which they use in refurbishment workshops to teach their members how to restore them so that they can be packed up and sent to Africa, playing a vital role in our work.
TWAM Local Impact Newsletter
We previously produced a newsletter which contains stories showing our local impact. These stories have now become a part of our quarterly newsletter, Our News, and are also featured on our blog and social media pages.