Leader needed for Ripon Charity

rip  Mark Henshaw in his workshop.  (120127M1)
rip Mark Henshaw in his workshop. (120127M1)

The leader of a charity in Ripon is calling for someone in the local area to step up and take over his position as he moves into retirement after 10 years of dedication to the cause.

Mark Henshaw, 79, from Ripon, has run the Ripon Branch of the charity Tools to Africa by himself for nearly ten years.

The charity which is part of the UK organisation, Tools for Self-Reliance, sends recycled equipment, to people in Africa.

Mr Henshaw, said: “I am 79 years old and I want to move into the next decade of my life. The charity does a lot of good work and it will be very disappointing if that has to stop.”

The council has allowed the charity to have a special box at the city recycling point on Dallamires Lane, where many people have donated a number of tools in the last decade.

Mr Henshaw said: “I want to thank people for their generous supply of tools over the years. Some people are just getting rid of their tools, others are giving us tools that have some interesting value.”

Any equipment that is donated is used by people in Africa to build homes and fix cars but also given to people who are trained in different trades so they can work to earn their own money.

The leader of the group has a number of responsibilities including collecting the tools from the local recycling point, sorting the useful tools from the scrap, cleaning them and sending them to the main charity headquarters in Southampton, as well as some admin duties.

The responsibility of the group’s duties has been carried solely by Mr Henshaw since the Ripon branch started in 2005 until this year when two people began helping him.

Mr Henshaw has been “looking intensively” to find someone to fill his position and to find a workshop for them to sort and clean the tools in but has had no success.

Without someone to take over his reponsibilties, it is likely that the box at the recycling centre will have to close and the group will cease to be.

He said: “It has been a marvellous voluntary job for me and I have enjoyed it enormously. I will be sad to think of the good tools, that mean so much to workers in Africa, being scrapped.

“If anyone feels they could take on the job I would be only too pleased to give them all the help I can.”

Those who are interested in filling the position or taking on some of the duties should contact Mark on 01765 690 163 at markripon@yahoo.co.uk