Our people

Edinburgh Tool Library

The ETL team

Our people 1
The Tooligans proud of their Volunteer Edinburgh Inspiring Team Award in 2018

The vast majority of the service delivery at ETL is done by our volunteers. They are the superstar Tooligans that run the 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, our members donate over 4,000 hours a year to helping our members and the community.

We also have our amazing staff team to support our volunteers. ETL has five salaried staff working a variety of hours, supplemented by several freelancers who deliver particular projects.

🔊 We’re hiring!

The Edinburgh Tool Library is recruiting a Workshop & Community Manager who will help us transition from Covid restricted services back to our “old-new” self and engage with the community through the power of making. 

The role will be diverse, challenging and incorporates all aspects of ETL. We are looking for an experienced maker with a track record of community work and project management.

Is this you? Or do you know the perfect candidate, please find and share the job description below and apply! Applications deadline is Friday 25th September by 5pm. We encourage applicants from across the community and we very much look forward to welcoming a new team member.

Click to read more on Goodmoves

Our Board of Trustees

Our board is made up of people with a 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.

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John Sinclair

Secretary and Acting Chair

I have been a trustee of the Edinburgh Tool Library since its formation back in 2014 and I’m immensely proud of what Chris and all the staff and volunteers have achieved since then. The breadth and impact of their work, and the panache and good humour that they deliver it with is a real inspiration.

My background is in photography, and currently I’m self-employed in Edinburgh shooting architecture, weddings and making videos for third sector organisations. In the fairly recent past I’ve also worked for the National Trust for Scotland and Prospect Trade Union, with a focus on photography and membership recruitment respectively.

Things that are definitely my bag: social justice; treating the planet and wildlife with respect; supporting new ideas which lessen and repair the damage we have already caused to our environment.

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Cathal Hone


I’m an Investment Manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments and have been helping out on the board at ETL for a couple of years now, after initially being a member and benefitting from the service myself.

I joined the board because I was keen to use my area of knowledge to benefit the charity, and think that ETL is ideally placed to support people from all walks of life to learn and benefit as I have, while still minimising their impact on the planet.

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Chris Hellawell


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.

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Gillian Eunson


I became a trustee of the ETL board in March 2019.

I’m currently a Knowledge and Learning Officer with the National Lottery Community Fund. Prior to this I built up over 10 years of experience working in and for the third sector; this began as a face-to-face fundraiser, before I got involved in various local and international volunteering grassroots community initiatives, and I more recently spent 5 years working in anti-racism education work for the charity Show Racism the Red Card. On top of that I’ve spent a lot of time working with young people, and am a qualified Forest School Leader – an approach to learning and development which takes place entirely in a woodland! I’ve a broad skillset in leadership, management, facilitation, and a knowledge of funding and national policy areas.

I’m passionate about looking after our planet and its people, and well know the power that can be harnessed within our communities. Having experienced this through my own career development, I now see it every day in my current work – great ideas turned into movements, connections, action and results – all brought together by the innovation and the drive that groups such as the Edinburgh Tool Library harness.

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Inge Panneels


Inge is the newest member of our board, having joined in March 2020, just in time to enjoy remote meetings caused by the corona virus pandemic.

An artist and academic whose creative practice engages with space and place, Inge established her studio in Edinburgh in 1998 working extensively on public art projects across the UK and has exhibited internationally.

Her practice is informed by data collection, mapping, and digital making techniques developed over twelve years teaching at the Artists Designer Maker course at the University of Sunderland. This experience of the creative sector, and PhD research (AHRC) at Northumbria University into the creative mapping practices of artists, with a specific interest of how artists are charting climate change, informs her role as Research Fellow. 

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The board of trustees is elected each year at the 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 Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) with charity number SC045162.

Our friends

These are some of the friends of Edinburgh Tool Library. We receive ongoing support from each of them, for which we are extremely grateful.

If you want to be a friend of the Tool Library and play a key role in leading us towards a sharing economy in Scotland, please get in touch.