Churches Together in Southwell

Tools for Africa

Group contact

David Falkner

Tel:  0786 050 2479 




'Tools for Africa' -  The aim of the group is to provide good quality toolkits to selected trained groups in African countries to enable them to earn a living and become self-supporting. We do this through existing international charities  such as “Tools for Self-Reliance” and “Tools with a Mission”. To find out more please check their websites


The Southwell group are well known in the local area and receive public donations of unwanted tools, which we refurbish and collate into trade-specific toolkits for carpentry, building, brick laying, electrical, plumbing and auto mechanics trades.  To date, our group has sent 212 kits, containing 9454 tools, and more than 200 sewing machines, which are given to women who have received training locally for dressmaking and tailoring.


The Southwell group work out of the basement at Southwell Methodist Church, who kindly allow us to use their premises to store and work on the refurbishment of the tools.  They do not make a charge for this facility, so we have no overheads.  We also raise funds by selling donated tools that cannot be used in trade kits.  We do this by occasionally taking a stall at Southwell Saturday market, and all monies raised are then passed on as a direct result of the free use of SMC premises, for which we are grateful.  Funds raised not only contribute towards the cost of transportation of kits, but also help subsidize the cost of training for those who receive the tools.  Countries that have benefitted to date are Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana and Malawi.


The training provided is for trade skills.  Some projects train people with no previous experience in a given trade, while other projects help people to improve their existing skills and the quality of their end product.  Recipients are also taught how to market their products and to manage their business effectively.  They are asked only to pay for the transportation of the tool kits from the docks to their place of work, and have to make a small contribution towards their training.  It is felt this gives them a sense of 'ownership'.


The group usually meet on the 1st and 3rd Monday evening of each month from 6.30-9.00 pm.  At these sessions tools are sorted into trade kits, refurbished and packed in a wooden or suitable containers for despatch to the appropriate headquarters..  Here they are collated with all the other kits provided by the other volunteer groups in the country, for specific projects, prior to being packed into a shipping container for transportation to Africa.


If you would like to volunteer, have tools to donate, wish to make a financial contribution, have fund raising skills or can help in any way at all, please contact David Falkner.  We look forward to hearing from you.