Tools for Self Reliance Cymru (TFSR Cymru) were recently awarded grant funding from Age Cymru as part of ongoing work to tackle loneliness in rural communities.
Loneliness and isolation are a daily reality for many older people – 75,000 older people in Wales have reported ‘always or often’ feeling lonely.
The main work of TFSR Cymru is to improve the lives of African artisans & families by providing them with quality recycled hand tools and sewing machines and training.
Tony Care of TFSR Cymru explains: “We repair and sharpen donated tools, and send tool kits and refurbished sewing machines to grass roots community groups in rural Tanzania.
“We receive a lot of donated tools, so we need plenty of volunteers to help us to clean and refurbish them. There’s a great group of people involved, and many of us have become good friends. In amongst the work, we always find time for a cup of tea and a bit of a catch up.”
Tool kits and sewing machines are given to rural community groups to help them expand their own small enterprises. This helps them to improve their own lives and generate an income to support their families.
Victoria Lloyd, Chief Executive of Age Cymru said: “Community initiatives, especially volunteering opportunities like this allow people to overcome this loneliness and boost their confidence as well as develop new skills and enjoy regular social interaction, all whilst helping others less well off.”
At present we have room for more volunteers in our Abergavenny sewing machine shop at Park Street Community Centre, or our tools workshop in Crickhowell. If you would like to get involved in volunteering for TFSR Cymru, learn some new skills and make some friends, you can find out more on their website: www.tfsrcymru.org.uk/volunteers