About Tools with a Mission

In many countries of the world people have few skills, little education and no means of earning a living. A switch from aid dependency to self sufficiency is impossible without help. Tools With A Mission exists to provide that help.

We have volunteer collectors all over the United Kingdom who collect unwanted tools from donors. These are tools that are in reasonable condition but are no longer wanted by their owners. When they have a car or van load they will ship them or deliver them to one of our workshops.

At our workshops more volunteers will sort the tools according to the trade they will be used by. Some will then be shipped to another TWAM workshop which specialises in tools of that type. Others will be cleaned and re-furbished at that location. The tools are then made up into tool kits according to a specified list. These are packed and labelled.

All completed kits are sent to the main workshop at Ipswich. Here they are stored until requested by one of our partners in the third world. All tools are only sent in response to specific requests. The workshop at Ipswich also deals with computers, sewing machines and knitting machines.

When we have enough orders for one country we load the toolkits, equipment, etc into a shipping container. We send out about 20 containers each year. This is then driven to Felixstowe docks for loading onto a container ship for the next stage of its journey.

The container will be delivered to a partner organisation who will oversee its unloading and will provide secure storage until the tools can be collected by the recipient partners.

In the case of tradesman's toolkits they will be received by a training organisation who runs courses to train local people in a trade. These trades include carpentry, metalwork, vehicle mechanics, building, plumbing, leatherwork and more. Courses are also run on sewing and dressmaking, office work, typing, word-processing etc. On successful completion of the course the student will be given a toolkit of his, or her, own.

Some of those who have been trained organise themselves into groups, or co-operatives, who work together in one location. This then means that they can be given larger tools, such as a lath, which they can share.

Tools With A Mission, 2 Bailey Close, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 0UD