The vast majority of the service delivery at ETL is done by our volunteers. They are our superstar Tooligans who run tool lending sessions, deliver open workshops, and put in many hours on volunteer builds and community engagement. Our volunteers donate 75 hours in a typical week, and when you add together all the volunteer builds and one-off events, ETL volunteers donate over 4,000 hours a year to helping our members and the community.
We also have an amazing staff team to support our volunteers. Our salaried staff work a variety of hours, supplemented by several freelancers who deliver particular projects.
The Board of Trustees
Our board is made up of people with shared enthusiasm and excitement for the Tool Library. We have worked hard to ensure it is diverse and representative of the communities we work with. Our board members have skills, experience, and backgrounds in trade unions, finance, youth employment, charity funding, employability, education, sociology and environmentalism.
I recently moved to Edinburgh and am really impressed by what goes on at the Tool Library. As soon as I heard about ETL I was sold on the idea, both to reduce our impact on the environment and to promote social inclusion and mobility.
I’ve got a background in Finance with lots of experience in the public and private sectors, having worked at companies ranging from Tesco to where I now work, a start-up with 7 people. I’m used to managing budgets and preparing accounts, and I know my way around a spreadsheet!
In my spare time you can find me with my head in a book (or hanging around a Little Free Library), playing board games or drawing and painting.
I’ve been a Trustee since March 2019 and took up the role of Chair the following year. I’m passionate about looking after our planet and its people, and I’m a huge advocate for nurturing and empowering local communities. I love how ETL has kick-started a sharing movement in the UK, and kept the value of community at its core. I’m really proud to be part of that innovation and drive.
My day-to-day work is with the National Lottery Community Fund where I’ve been employed in learning and User Research roles since 2018.
Before this I spent over 10 years working in and for the third sector– as a fundraiser, a volunteer leader for local and international community initiatives, and I worked for 5 years in anti-racism education. I’ve built up insight within Third Sector funding alongside a broad skillset in leadership, facilitation, learning and research.
The outdoors is also a huge passion of mine, and I’m qualified as a Forest School leader. Forest School promotes a holistic approach to learning and development (taking place in woodlands) focusing on the value of community, creativity, risk associated play and safe tool use. I have to admit though – my tool knowledge is shameful!
I came to Edinburgh for university and simply never left. I have a background in hospitality management, being actively involved in various Edinburgh Fringe bars and venues before moving into the world of Finance. When I’m not reading through Financial Statements, you’ll most likely find me at a pub quiz or doing foodie things around Edinburgh.
I have been an ETL member for around 3 years now, joining during COVID to start working on the garden and more latterly hiring tools to help with general DIY. Having started with limited knowledge, the library enabled me to gain confidence to undertake various tasks I didn’t think I would ever have tackled.
With the opportunity to join as a Trustee, I knew that I wanted to get involved to ensure that this fantastic organisation continued to prosper. Being at the center of the sharing and circular economy movement is incredibly important as this ties into my view of a sustainable future.
I started ETL in 2015 after visiting similar projects in Canada and being frustrated that such a thing didn’t exist in the UK. I could see the potential of marrying an environmental angle with one that promotes positive social values and wanted to be part of something that made a lasting difference in my community.
My educational background is in environmental science and forestry, and professionally, I have worked in the third sector for the last decade, so the Tool Library has been a great way to use my knowledge and my passion to promote sharing as a way of social mobility as well as reducing environmental impact.
Since beginning the tool library, my interest in social enterprise has grown, and I was delighted to be asked to join the board of Firstport (Scotland’s largest provider of business support and funding to social enterprise) in 2018, and its sister company First Impact in 2019.
Bio coming soon.
I have been a volunteer at the Tool Library for 18 months now and really enjoy the whole community feel, the purpose and people are fantastic. I am a keen DIYer and enjoy helping members with their projects where I can. Recently it was great to be able to use one of our workshops to make a life size wooden dog for my young granddaughter.
I have recently retired and hope my skills from leadership roles in international business will help the Tool library. I am particularly interested in supporting the team with strategic planning, tactical delivery, empowering techniques and having fun.
I joined in March 2020, just in time to enjoy remote meetings caused by the pandemic. Chris and I had met at Make Manifesto with a bunch of likeminded people who share a passion for making.
I have been a practicing artist and maker for over twenty years (gulp) when I first set up my glass studio in Edinburgh in 1998 and worked on many public art projects across the UK. I also taught for over twelve years at the Artists Designer Maker course at the University of Sunderland, so I have a passion for the handmade.
However, I am also a firm believer in what digital skills and technology can bring to the creative sector. I now live and work in the Scottish Borders, in close proximity to nature.
My recent work (PhD, Northumbria University) has focussed on the confluence of climate change and creative practice; how can artists help bring about the culture change we need? I am currently working as a Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University on the Creative Informatics project and am exploring how the creative sector could make changes towards a more sustainable future.
I became a trustee on the board of the ETL at the 2020 AGM taking on the role of Treasurer. I found the ETL looking to borrow a tool for a home project. Having lived in flats since my student days I had neither the space or money to buy a shed full of tools. However, having become a member, I realised there was much more to the tool library than borrowing tools.
The focus on sustainability and community was really interesting. When I saw the advert for the Treasurer role I wanted to get involved, using my finance skills to help the library, to know new people and learn more about the ETL. I live in Edinburgh and currently work as an accountant for NatWest Group. I have been a member of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra since 2009 and served on its board between 2015 and 2021 in different roles.
The board of trustees is elected each year at the Awesome General Meeting (AGM). We are always looking for new members who have experience in finance or legal matters, and can help with our plans for funding. Our board sits regularly and works to secure the long-term future of the Tool Library. If you are interested in joining our board, please get in touch.
You can read minutes of board meetings, AGMs and policy documents on our archive page.
The Edinburgh Tool Library is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) registered as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) with charity number SC045162.