Churches Together in Southwell

Holy Trinity Church

Living Waters Ministries

Our Lady of Victories

Riverside Church

Southwell Baptist Church

Southwell Methodist Church

Southwell Minster

Tools for Self Reliance

Group contact

Brian Dewing

Tel: 01636 812049

Email:  Brian Dewing


John Green

Tel: 01636 816766

Email:  John Green


To find out more about TFSR, visit the TFSR website

Tools for Self-Reliance (TFSR) is a National charity with its headquarters situated at Netley Marsh on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire. The aims of the charity are to provide good quality toolkits to selected individuals in African countries to enable them to earn a living and become self-reliant.


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 over 188 kits, containing 8790 tools, and more than 200 sewing machines, the later being 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 refurbishment of the tools.  They do not make a charge for this facility, so we have no overheads.  Moreover, we are able to raise funds to contribute towards shipping costs 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 can be passed on to Netley Marsh 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 those who receive the tools in their home country.  Places that have benefitted to date are Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana and Malawi.


The training provided is for trade skills. Some project schemes train people with no previous experience in a given trade, and in some instances they help people to improve their skills and the quality of their end product.  Recipients are also taught how to market their products and how 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 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 ready for despatch to Headquarters at Netley Marsh, where they are integrated with all the other kits for a specific project, prior to being packed into a shipping container for transportation to Africa.

If you would like to volunteer, or you wish to make a financial contribution, have fund raising skills or can help in any way at all please contact Brian or John - we’d love to have you on board.