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Pictured: (left to right) Robert Fotheringham, Acting Service Manager, Building Maintenance Division (BMD); George Nichol, the Rotary Club of Grangemouth; Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council; Brian Dick and Jim MacDonald, both Assistant Buildings Operations Co-ordinators, BMD with the donations from employees.

Nearly 100 hand tools have been donated to a project that aims to help people living in Malawi gain new skills and build a way out of poverty.

The spades, hammers, saws, shovels and various other hand tools were dug out from toolboxes and sheds by local people including employees of Falkirk Council's Building Maintenance Division (BMD).

The tools, which were collected by the Rotary Club of Grangemouth, will be refurbished and shipped to Malawi where they will be used by the Global Concerns Trust to help some of the poorest and most vulnerable people gain new skills and earn a living.

George Nichol, the Rotary Club of Grangemouth, said: "Since 2005, the Rotary Club of Grangemouth has collected second-hand tools that have helped many people learn a trade and earn a wage. Without these tools, they may struggle to support themselves and their families. We’d like to thank everyone, especially Falkirk Council staff, for their generous donation."

Joint working

Employees at the Inchyra Depot got involved in the initiative after George reached out to Acting Service Manager (BMD), Robert Fotheringham.

Keen to find out more about the initiative, Robert invited George to the Grangemouth depot where he explained how the life-changing project helped people in Malawi achieve economic self-reliance.

Robert said: “When I heard how old tools could literally transform people’s lives by giving them an opportunity to learn a trade such as carpentry or cane furniture making, I knew it was something staff would get behind. Most of the tools donated by employees from their personal toolboxes would probably have been thrown out and gone to the tip, so knowing they will be given a new lease of life, and will help vulnerable people earn a living, is great news.”

Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, added: “Local people, including members of Falkirk Council staff, have been extremely generous, donating tools that may be rusty or gathering dust at home to a worthwhile cause. It is very uplifting to know that, even in challenging times, people continue to dig deep and will donate whatever they can to help others, both here and thousands of miles away.”

some of the tools collected