A garden centre has joined forces with a tool recycling scheme which aims to give women prisoners an opportunity to learn new skills.
Scotland’s first garden tool recycling workshop opens at Saughton Prison this month thanks to the Conservation Foundation’s Tools Shed project.
And to help ensure there is a steady supply of tools to be recycled, New Hopetoun Gardens has set up a garden tool recycling point to collect broken and unwanted tools.
New Hopetoun Gardens’ Dougal Philip said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our customers a place to recycle their unwanted garden handtools.
‘‘We know their sheds and garages are full of tools they no longer need, but seem too good to throw away. Knowing that these tools can benefit both prisoners and the school and community projects makes folk feel good.”
David Shreeve, the Conservation Foundation’s director, added: “Tools Shed is a simple idea which has received a great response from the public. As well as being a new approach to recycling, it gives practical skills to prisoners and provides some very special tools for schools and community gardens. We’re delighted that HMP Edinburgh and New Hopetoun Gardens will be working with us.”
And Jim Shields, employability trades and crafts manager of HMP Edinburgh said: “This new project allows us to further strengthen links with the local community whilst allowing prisoners to develop and learn new skills.
‘‘The recycled tools will provide a purposeful activity, giving a sense of purpose with a charitable link and showing what can happen with the finished product.”
Tools collected from New Hopetoun and repaired at Edinburgh Prison will be distributed through the prison’s school and community network.
The project in Scotland will be co-ordinated by Andrew and Angela Davies, who live near Reston in the Borders. Dr Davies said: “We are happy to be involved with this project and would be glad to hear from any garden centres or groups which would like to set up tool collection points.”
Anyone interested in collecting tools or in receiving refurbished ones is asked to contact tools@conservation foundation.co.uk