Tools help people start in business

Doug Waldram collects donated tools for the Workaid project
Doug Waldram collects donated tools for the Workaid project

Doug Waldram volunteers for a charity called Workaid, helping people in Africa build better lives for themselves.

He and his wife Margaret collect unwanted tools to help people in Africa start up in businesses, and make a living for themselves.

They collect anything from sewing machines to garden spades.

Doug said: “We collect almost anything – tools of all descriptions for a multitude of trades..

“Tools range from sewing machines, knitting machines, all things to do with hosiery, dress making, electrical tools, plumbing, leather work, shoe repairs, gardening tools. We find a home for anything.

“They are used as starter kits for people.

“It’s giving people self respect and getting them out of poverty.

“It gives them something to aim for and provides a service.

“It gives them money to live basically.”

Work aid transport huge containers full of tools all over Africa, to areas such as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzaneer.

“It costs £8,000 to £10,000 to send one container so they fundraise to help pay for that as well,” said Doug.

“About three years ago they opened a little shop where they sell some of the refurbished tools, which helps pay for the containers to be shipped.

“And the charity sponsors training schemes for the workers as well”

The couple, who are in their 70s, have been involved with the charity for well over ten years, and heard about it through Nuthall church, where they have been members for many years.

“We’ve been collecting for them for a very long time,” said Margaret.

“Instead of collecting for Harvesty festival at church one year we collected tools for Africa, and it went from there.

“We got swamped with donations from people someone mentioned about the charity so we looked into it.”

There are a couple of hundred Workaid volunteers spread out all over the country who work to collect the donations like the Waldrens.

The tools then go to the charities ‘agents’, one of whom lives in Nuthall.

Doug said: “The agent here stores everything in his garage and when he has enough he contacts the charity and they send someone along in a van to collect it all.”

The 77-year-old said they do it ‘because they can’.

“We are retired and we’ve got the time to do it. We do it because we can.

“We put little adverts out locally sometimes and people remember us and often want to find out what it’s all about.

“It’s also word of mouth.

“If someone dies and there’s a garage full of stuff that needs getting rid of people often remember us.

“Family members are reluctant to take stuff to the tip, and they’re much happier to take it to someone who will do something with it.

“Often grannys are into knitting for example and it’s really nice to put it all to good use.”

The Waldrams have lived in Nuthall for 41 years.

Visit workaid.gov for more information.