An Ilkley-based scheme which sends reconditioned tools to Africa is concentrating on bicycle repair kits, to mark the Tour de France’s visit to Wharfedale.

Ilkley Tools for Africa – a branch of charity Tools for Self Reliance (TFSR) – is collecting tools suitable for bicycle repairs, for use in projects in several African countries.

Ilkley Tools for Africa is a group of local volunteers that collects tools people no longer want and refurbishes them locally at two workshops.

The charity works with local African organisations to provide tool kits and training to bring about effective and sustainable change to artisans and their communities.

The primary countries TFSR works in are Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.

Its focus is not only on bicycle repair. The Ilkley group has recently sent a builders’ kit to Uganda and a carpentry kit to Tanzania and is, at the moment, assembling electrical installation and automechanics kits.

They also collect and refurbish unwanted sewing machines and any haberdashery that accompanies them.

The largest bicycle repair kit contains seventy-two items including some tools that are specific to the work of repairing and maintaining bicycles such as chain splitters, bicycle spanners, tyre levers and pumps alongside general tools such as pliers, files, hacksaws, wrenches, hammers and screwdrivers. Spoke keys in particular are in short supply.

Donations of any tools, particularly at this time those relevant to bicycle repair, are gratefully received by these local volunteers and by those artisans in Africa who will make their living using them.

If you have tools of any kind or sewing machines you no longer want, or if you would like to get involved in this work, contact Frank McCrickard on or (01943) 608655.

Tools may also be left for Ilkley Tools for Africa at Morten’s Hardware Store which has supported the group since its inception in the town ten years ago.