Monday, 31 August 2015

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Donations dilemma for Tools with a Mission charity

A massive increase in donations to charity has been welcomed by a Cumbrian representative.

John Walton photo
John Walton

Penrith resident John Walton has been a Tools with a Mission (TWAM) collector for three years, and a News & Star article prompted jumpers to be donated from across the country.

But this joy has been tempered with the news that because of the unscrupulous activities of other charities, TWAM are now unable to transport donations to Uganda.

Charities delivering dirty, unwashed clothes has meant that TWAM must obtain a fumigation certificate to donate clothes.

Mr Walton said: “Since the article it’s gone absolutely berserk.

“We’ve had donations from Wales, Nottingham, Sheffield – all over the place.

“Unfortunately it’s actually created something of a problem because now we need a certificate to be allowed to send these things.

“Management are looking to see how they can sort this problem out.”

TWAM is a charity that has people across the UK collecting tools, which are wrapped in jumpers and sent to Uganda.

Despite the setback, Mr Walton says he is delighted with the generosity shown by people sending donations.

He explained: “The response has shown a lot of goodwill.

“I’m not surprised but I’m overwhelmed by it.

“It’s just motivated people and they have taken it to heart.

“We were really bouncing along and getting the stuff to where it was needed until the certificate setback. But hopefully this is a just temporary problem.”


The charity has sent across £4,500 worth of sewing machines as well as 260 tonnes of workmen’s tools.

Mr Walton is one of 400 volunteer collectors for the charity, while there are five paid members of stuff.

He enthuses about how the organisation of the charity means that it can be more efficient with donations.

He explained: “Other organisations take 80p from each pound, whereas we are looking to take around 10p. Bits and pieces are coming out because people don’t like throwing things away.

“People think ‘do we put these in the skip or do we give them to charity?’”

To donate, contact John on 01768 867516 or for more information on the charity visit



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