This is a great role for anyone who likes driving and meeting people. You don't need to know about tools, but you will need to know what we can take and what we can't. For example we'll take garden rakes but not lawn rakes, we'll take computers but not printers. All this is explained in our Tools Wanted leaflet which we send out to supporters and give to collectors.
The way it works
Collectors are advertised on our main website, where people can enter their postcode to find their nearest collectors. We only give out your name, nearest town and TWAM email. If people ring our Ipswich head office we will give out a phone number as that normally means they do not have an email. We never give out addresses.
People will then contact you direct, by email or phone to let you know what they would like to donate and to arrange for you to either collect or for them to drop it off at your home. Which option you choose is entirely up to you. You can decide how far you are willing to travel and this information will be put on the website. Normally it is between 15-25 miles.
Then at the agreed time you will pop round to collect the tools. This may be a quick in and out, but sometimes it may be a bereaved wife parting with her husband's precious tools or a family member, mum's treasured sewing machine. If so, they may appreciate a chat about what we will do with their donation over a cup of tea. We want to be a compassionate charity and so look for compassionate volunteers.
You will need a shed or part of a garage to store the tools until the TWAM van comes to collect. Some areas (Ipswich and Surrey vans) work on a ten week rota for collections, so you will get a visit regularly to take away as much or as little as you have. Others (Coventry and Kent) respond to collection requests as and when collectors are running out of storage.
What we offer
Collectors are given a:
TWAM email to use (e.g.: email@example.com)
TWAM branded polo shirt
TWAM identity card
Receive a monthly volunteer enewsletter
An invitation to supporter TWAM Days
Up to date leaflets to give out
Reimbursement of travel expenses for longer journeys
Collectors can pop in to any of our Centres, ring up to speak to our office staff if they need resources or have questions and are always welcome at our head office and main Refurbishment Centre.
We will take your safety seriously and have a Personal Safety and Lone Working Policy to support you.
You can expect to be valued and treated with respect at all times.
What we expect
In return we expect you to respond to requests from people wanting to donate tools in a timely manner. This doesn't mean reading your emails every day, but at least twice a week and responding to phone messages as soon as you can. We understand people are busy and have time away and always point this out to people asking for collections, but we do need the people who are our face-to-face contact to give a good impression.
We expect you to be polite and helpful at all times. We are a caring charity and want that care to be obvious to all our volunteers and all our supporters. If people need to talk, we need to listen. Many of our collectors find this the most rewarding aspect of their role.
We ask you to hand out Thank You leaflets to everyone who donates tools. This is really important as it gives them a brilliant overview of what we do with their tools and hopefully will get us some new supporters.
We expect you to say no to things we can not use. This can be said politely and positively by simply explaining, for example 'this can not be used in Africa, so I am sorry but I can't take it, but maybe a charity shop would value it.' The Tools Wanted leaflet is very useful for this (we have a unique Scottish Tools Wanted leaflet).
We expect you to note when the van is coming to collect and make sure you are in. If you know you will be away, just let your van coordinator know at least two days before and they will rearrange the visit.
Overall we expect you to reflect our professionalism and compassion and leave people very happy they contacted Tools with a Mission.
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