The Honourable
The Irish Society

Committed to serving the community

Tools for Solidarity, Belfast

Tools for Solidarity has been attracting donations of unwanted tools and sewing machines for almost 40 years, which are refurbished in the Belfast workshop and then sent to Africa to benefit rural women and people with disabilities.  In addition, drawing people from the local community, TFS operates a Supported Volunteers programme – providing 10-14 sheltered placements for local people with disabilities.  These people develop skills in workshop tasks which enhance their confidence and self-esteem, as well as improving longer term employment prospects.  They also build relationships with the other volunteers.  And their families and carers comment on the positive effects this has on their outlook and well-being.  In recent years workshop space had become a problem, and TFS has recently acquired a new storage building in Belfast which has bigger capacity and is better suited to its needs for the foreseeable future.  However, although sound, dry and fully serviced, it is in need of some minor repairs and adaptations.  And an application was made for funding towards equipment and materials to re-point brickwork, repair the guttering, replace the existing WC and washing facilities, carry out electrical re-wiring and install shelving.  The Committee agreed that, with all works being undertaken by TFS volunteers, the project costs represented very good value for money and a grant of £1,500 from The Clothworkers NI Fund was endorsed.