Retired Ripon farmer gives new life to unwanted tools

The Advertiser Series: Mark Henshaw at work in his shed. Mark Henshaw at work in his shed.

A RETIRED farmer who has restored thousands of tradesmens’ tools for people in Africa is appealing for help to continue the charitable work.

Mark Henshaw, 78, said he may scale back his work for charity Tools for Self Reliance, unless he can set up a workshop and find volunteers to help give new life to the unwanted tools he collects from North Yorkshire recycling centres.

Mr Henshaw has restored tools in his shed at his Ripon home for the past eight years before sending them to the charity, which distributes packs of tools to people who have trained for specific trades in countries including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.

He said: “I am getting a bit long in the tooth to be doing this by myself, most of the Tools for Self Reliance groups across the country see a number of people meet up at a workshop.

“I really enjoy the work and it would be a shame for it to come to an end in Ripon, but unless I can find a workshop, at least the size of a double garage, it will.

“Anyone who is interested in doing this need not have experience of restoring tools as I can give guidance.”

After visiting Mr Henshaw’s workshop, Ripon MP Julian Smith paid tribute to his efforts to help people in developing countries.

He said: “Mark’s commitment and dedication in wanting to ensure people continue his support of the charity in the future is something I am happy to support.

“I’d encourage anyone who can offer space for people to work, tools to restore or time to help work on them to get in touch with Mark or the charity.”

For details about the charity, visit tfsr.org, or to contact Mr Henshaw, call 01765-690163 or email markripon@yahoo.co.uk

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