A contribution of £2,000 from Broadacres Housing Association has helped a Thirsk-based charity set up a lending library for local people but it’s tools, not books, that are being checked out.
Popular in North America, the first tool library was only set up in the UK in 2015 and now, Community Works has established its own.
With funding from Broadacres, the charity has begun lending tools to people from its store in the Market Square, Thirsk.
The service is open to people living in areas where Broadacres has homes, including Thirsk, Northallerton, Richmond and Easingwold.
This includes tools ranging from drills and garden pruners, through to larger items such as stepladders, wheelbarrows, and wallpaper steamers. Safety equipment such as ear defenders, eyewear and gloves are also available.
The tool library was established after housing officers from Broadacres began reporting that some people were struggling to maintain their homes and gardens due to not being able to afford to buy even basic tools.
With the £2,000 donated by Broadacres, Community Works has been able to buy a wide range of tools, which are loaned to people who pay a £1 membership and then a small amount extra to hire the tools for a day or two.
Community Works Enterprise and Partnerships Manager, Stefan Sykes said: “The tool library launched in October and it’s already in high demand and going well.
“Some of the equipment can be expensive to buy and when you consider that the average drill is only used for a total of 13 minutes in its lifetime, then we don’t all need to own one.
“People also often don’t have the space to store large items like wheelbarrows and stepladders, so we’re providing a service which enables them to get the tools and equipment they need to maintain/improve their home, without having to worry about the cost or storage.
“We’re very grateful to Broadacres for providing the money to establish the tool library. They have a been a great supporter of our charity for many years now, and we enjoy working in partnership with them to help improve lives for others.”
Andy Powell, Broadacres’ Customer Experience Director, said: “This is a great initiative by Community Works which we were only too happy to support with funding.
“It not only directly helps our residents, but also has wider community benefits too.”
The Tool Library will continue operating throughout the November lock-down, on a click and collect appointment basis.
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