Tools With A Mission

One of TWAM’s volunteers giving a machine a drop of lubrication to finish its refurbishment before being shipped out.

Have you used lockdown to have a good sort out at home? If this has left you with an unwanted sewing machine – treadle, hand or electric – contact Tools with a Mission (TWAM) to give your old machine a new purpose.

Ipswich-based TWAM is a charity which enables people in Africa to earn a living and support themselves and their families.

In many countries people have few skills, little education and no means of earning a living, and a switch from aid dependency to self-sufficiency is impossible without help. On top of this the pandemic has had a devastating effect in many African countries.

Many women in poor villages have become widows at a young age and have children to support. With the gift of a fully refurbished sewing machine from TWAM, many have been able to start their own business and often they go on to teach others how to use the machines and earn a living.

Making good use of a refurbished machine, this woman in Zambia shows off her work.

TWAM Chief Executive Mike Griffin said: ‘In the hands of a determined tailor in Africa sewing machines transform lives!  They provide income to put food on the table, send children to school and keep a roof over their head.  Your unused sewing machine would be a life saver in Africa.’

So if you have a sewing (or knitting) machine that is surplus to you requirements, TWAM would love to receive it and give it a new life. Do not worry if it has not been used for a while as all machines that come in are given a full service.

TWAM began more than 30 years ago and has since collected and refurbished tools and equipment no longer required in the UK and sent them overseas.

Through collectors and centres across the UK, a team of dedicated volunteers and supporters help transform thousands of lives every year. 

It is not just sewing machines that are needed. TWAM sends expertly refurbished and sorted tools in the following trade kits; builders, carpenters, electricians, agricultural, ground works, motor mechanics, plumbers as well as large workshop tools. Old PCs can also be refurbished for a useful new life.

You can contact TWAM on 01473 210220 or email or for further information about the charity and what it does, visit 

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