With gardens coming into full summer bloom, Truro school and community gardeners were delighted to receive some very special tools in time for the busy months ahead in a giveaway organised last weekend by Cornwall’s Diocesan Environment Officer Luci Isaacson and well-known local media personality Colin Gregory.
The tools had been repaired in workshops at HMP Dartmoor for The Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project, an innovative recycling scheme which works in a number of prisons around the UK to bring broken garden tools back to life, while giving skills and occupation to prisoners.
BBC Radio Cornwall presenter Laurence Reed joined gardeners from Truro Methodist Church, Kenwyn and St Allen Churches and St Mawgan in Meneage Church, as well as from Bishop Bronescombe School, Boscoppa and Threemilestone School.
The tool giveaway was also the perfect opportunity for Luci to encourage church gardeners to enter the Green Health Awards. These celebrate the efforts made by churches and Christian organisations to use gardens and churchyards creatively for well-being, particularly mental wellbeing and are organised by The Conservation Foundation, with the Church Times and Guild of Health and St Raphael.
Said Luci Isaacson “What an ideal way to boost current gardening schemes and encourage new ones, a perfect way to enjoy nature and promote well-being. To top it all, these are tools recycled and made good by prisoners which of course really resonates well in everyone taking part.”
Said Conservation Foundation director David Shreeve “I am delighted that Tools Shed has been able to supply so many tools to so many fantastic causes.”
To request tools and for further information visit www.conservationfoundation.co.uk/tools
For details of the Green Health Awards visit https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/green-health-awards
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
• The Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed restores broken and unwanted garden hand tools in prison workshops and the ‘new’ tools are given free to schools and community groups
• It’s a recycling project which gives skills, occupation and a link to life beyond the walls to prisoners and free tools to schools and community groups which often have no budgets for these
• Tools Shed was piloted at Wandsworth Prison and later it was set up at HMPs Dartmoor and Edinburgh
• Since then funding from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities means that the project has grown to four further English prisons – Featherstone, Garth, Norwich and Hatfield
• Tools are collected at garden centres, recycling depots and horticultural projects. Tools accepted include garden hand tools such as rakes, forks, spades, hoes, trowels and shears but not power or petrol driven tools.
• In Cornwall people can drop their broken and unwanted tools at the Eden Project. The Conservation Foundation would be very pleased to hear from any other garden centres or recycling depots that would like to start collecting tools
• In the south west tools are repaired in the Tools Shed workshop at HMP Dartmoor
• Schools and community groups can apply to receive free restored tools.
• To request tools and for further information – add details online at www.conservationfoundation.co.uk/tools
The Conservation Foundation has been providing a way for people in public, private and not-for-profit sectors to collaborate on environmental causes since 1982. Among its current projects are The Great British Elm Search, Wessex Watermarks, Gardening Against The Odds, Unlocking Nature, the Green Health Awards and Tools Shed.
Further press information: Lindsay Swan, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel 020 7591 3111; 07961 181982