At Netley Marsh, we have six workshops:
The main tools workshop
Here our volunteers, supported by the operations manager and volunteers’ coordinatorclean and repair hand tools ranging from screwdrivers and saws to hand-operated pillar drills and blowlamps. Our few qualified and experienced electrical engineering volunteers carry out safety tests and repairs to the electric sewing machines and power tools that we send.
The machine shop
We have a range of machines, including a gritblaster, several bench grinders, a lathe for more technical jobs and some specialist saw-sharpening machines which are used to speed up refurbishing. We operate a strict Health & Safety policy to ensure machines are used safely and the proper protective equipment is worn.
The special projects room
We occasionally refurbish and send machinery such as lathes, planers, power pillar drills – these are dealt with by our more experienced volunteers as special projects.
The sewing machine workshop
At least a third of the kits we send are sewing kits which contain one or more sewing machines. Volunteers receive in-depth training to ensure all machines leave us in good condition and are ready to be used for many years to come.
The wood workshop
Most of the activity carried out in the wood workshop is making boxes to house the tool kits and treadle sewing machines. We obtain secondhand timber free from local companies, which our volunteers de-nail and use to make the 400 boxes a year needed to protect the kits in their container voyage from Netley Marsh to Africa.
The Training Group workshop
A group of adults with learning difficulties work in the Training Group workshop, supported by staff from a local day service. They learn from each other, the staff and other volunteers and thus enhance their skills and successfully produce some excellently prepared kits.