Edinburgh Tool Library - Chris Hellawell

Set up by Chris Hellawell and inspired by similar projects in Canada, The Edinburgh Tool Library exists to support the local community, offering a low-cost method for borrowing tools while providing expert advice, practical workshops and employment and help to young trainees. Since achieving charitable status in 2015, The Edinburgh Tool Library has built its inventory entirely from donated tools. They opened their doors to the public in March 2015, becoming the first Tool Library in the UK. Since then, the team has saved their members over £2 million and supported over 100 community groups and charities through their outreach programmes. 

Edinburgh Tool Library - Chris Hellawell

In an ever more circular economy, sharing libraries are a way of maximising the usefulness of objects, without the need to manufacture more.  The Edinburgh Tool Library took part in Creative Bridge (Cohort 4) and their subsequent Resident Entrepreneur project aimed to embed data collection in the culture of sharing libraries, so that the impact, social and environmental benefits of tool libraries can be measured and demonstrated more effectively.

As part of the project, they developed a charitable giving campaign and a data tool for libraries which includes a carbon calculator. The programme helped them to reach out to other organisations for expert help in data, marketing and environmental models and their carbon calculator caught the attention of the MyTurn team in the US who went on to host the tool on their own site. This allows every tool library using MyTurn (over 400 globally) to have access to their own carbon data on their MyTurn dashboard by default.



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