Fife volunteers are sending a record number of refurbished carpentry tools to Malawi, despite the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ecology Centre at Kinghorn got its Tool Shed volunteering programme back up and running just eight weeks ago after a six-month closure and have been working round the clock to get the shipment ready.
The team refurbishes old tools donated by the public and, with the help of the charities Tools for Self Reliance and the Global Concerns Trust, they are passed on to people with physical disabilities in Malawi.
Some of the 16 Kinghorn volunteers worked more than 1,000 hours to ensure the project ran smoothly.
The group enlisted the help of Cowdenbeath Rotary Club to help collect items after lockdown lifted to enable them to organise the shipment on time.
Tool Shed officer Lee Brown said: “Previously we would have shipped six kits, however our volunteers have been desperate to keep busy, get back to it and are working hard to produce a record 14 kits, whilst also provisioning for a further six should they be needed.”
Lee said they would not have been able to produce so many kits without public donations and the Rotary Club’s help.
He said: “We’re fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who are working hard to transform all these rusty tools.”
Tom Russell, from Cowdenbeath Rotary Club, said the Tool Shed’s operation and objectives reflected many of the aims of Rotary projects at international and community levels.
“The exponential benefits to everyone involved are evident and conducive to skills development, social goodwill and good health, as well as the environmental element of the Tool Shed’s work,” he said.
When the tools reach Malawi, recipients are given training in skills such as carpentry, cane furniture-making and tailoring.
Every year the Global Concerns Trust ships more than 1,000 wood working tools and 32 manual Singer sewing machines and treadles to people in the east African country.
The Ecology Centre team is always looking for donations of old, unwanted and used carpentry tools.
They also accept donations of old garden tools for their Thursday dementia-friendly volunteering sessions.
These tools are refurbished and made available to local community groups.
Anyone with tools to donate can contact Lee Brown via email at Toolshed@theecologycentre.org to discuss pick-up or drop-off.