Kinghorn’s Tool Shed helping people around the world

Volunteers from the Tool Shed project at the Ecology Centre with Lee Brown, supervisor (right).
Volunteers from the Tool Shed project at the Ecology Centre with Lee Brown, supervisor (right).

People from all over the world are benefiting from work being done by a small team of committed volunteers in Kinghorn.

The Tool Shed project, which has been running for two years from two refurbished shipping containers at Kinghorn’s Ecology Centre on the banks of Kinghorn Loch, is going from strength to strength.

Refurbished tools

Refurbished tools

From one session a week it now runs sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons as well as Friday mornings, and there is a session for people with dementia which runs on a Thursday, with another about to start.

And, as well as providing refurbished tools and other equipment for local charities and organisations, it sends starter tool kits and sewing machines to help people in Malawi earn a living for themselves, and is now about to expand to sending carpentry kits to the Greek island of Samos to help refugees living there.

The Malawi project is run through Tools for Self Reliance, and provides the tools and sewing machines to help the local people earn a living and support their families.

The latest initiative, to send aid to Samos, is being run in conjunction with the Scottish charity Re-Act Refugee Action Scotland, which is running educational and recreational workshops to help the refugees, and one of these is carpentry.

Jim Stevenson, a volunteer with the Ecology Centre's Tool Shed project. Specialist in Singer sewing machines

Jim Stevenson, a volunteer with the Ecology Centre's Tool Shed project. Specialist in Singer sewing machines

Re-Act approached the Ecology Centre to see if it could help with tool kits to help older, skilled members of the refugee community help teach younger ones carpentry skills, and the Tool Shed was happy to help.

On June 22 a representative from Re-Act will visit the centre to collect

The Tool Shed is run by supervisor Lee Brown who oversees a group of 17 volunteers who help give a new lease of life to old and unused tools, carrying out repairs to gardening and carpentry tools and equipment and sewing machines to make them fit for purpose again.

The team has donated over 300 tools locally, and many more for overseas.

Lee said: “It’s great to be able to support other charities both at home and abroad because funding for equipment is so hard to come by these days. It’s also great to see the tools being reused and not sent to landfill.

“In 2017 we managed to divert 4.4 tonnes from landfill with a carbon saving of 11.4 tonnes and this year we’re aiming for six.’’