Community and school gardeners from all over London came to collect garden tools last weekend (Saturday 23 September) from just outside the walls of HMP Wandsworth to help them with their projects. These tools were destined for the landfill - broken and unwanted, they had no use to anyone, until they were donated to the Tools Shed project. Placed in one of our several collection points around London, they were taken to HMP Wandsworth where they were carefully restored by Instructional Officer, Paul Robertson, and offenders at the prison.
The give-away day was deemed a success, allowing people from a number of different community projects to talk, collect their free tools and look around the HMP Wandsworth museum, curated by Officer McLaughlin.
The offenders at HMP Wandsworth were praised for their hard work and attention to detail in restoring the wide range of garden tools that included rakes, spades, hoes and loppers. Done to an extremely high standard, many comments that these tools would help their projects for years to come, "I've never seen such good tools even in a garden centre," said Roddy Font of Oasis Farm Waterloo. Bruno Lacey, who runs Brixton's Urban Growth Learning Gardens agrees. "These tools are things of beauty, which helps people respect them more," he says. "What you guys do is a beautiful craft and art."
With new funding from the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities, the Tools Shed project is expanding its reach to 4 new prisons around the UK, allowing even more schools and community groups to benefit from free garden tools made possible by the hard work of the offenders and staff.
Do you have tools you can donate to the Tools Shed project? Do you need tools for your school or community group? Do you have tools you can donate to the Tools Shed project? Do you need tools for your school or community group? Please follow this link to our Tools Shed page for more information.