More About Workaid


The 1980's saw one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 20th century. In 1984, famine in Ethiopia left over 1 million people dead and a further 8 million at risk of starvation. (Source BBC) 

As governments and individuals were concentrating their efforts on emergency relief following the Live Aid appeal, a group of friends from Buckinghamshire who were determined to provide long-term practical assistance, began a ground-breaking project to help the people of East Africa escape the cycle of poverty and rebuild their lives. 

In response to the vivid reports of the famine, brought to public attention by Michael Buerk, Ken Nunn - a local solicitor, called a meeting which was attended by 30 people from churches and the local community. That evening a committee was formed, with Ken Nunn as Chairman and local businessman John Boughton offered space in his premises which became the first WORKAID workshop.

After much preparation and hard work, WORKAID officially opened for business in April 1986 and formally registered as a charity soon after. These very first volunteers set to refurbishing donated tools and equipment and sending them to projects where vulnerable people in East Africa could learn trade skills, grow crops and produce goods for sale in order to earn a living.

As more volunteers joined the team and the supply of tools and equipment increased, WORKAID soon outgrew the first premises in Little Chalfont and was offered a hut at the Free Church in Amersham from which they then moved to a unit generously loaned by GE Healthcare, also in Amersham.

Today, WORKAID operates from the Old Boot Factory in Chesham, Buckinghamshire with a dedicated team of over 200 workshop volunteers and 70 plus Local Collectors around the country. Each year the team receives hundreds of applications for tools and equipment from groups. We seek to fulfil as many as possible but are constantly in need of more volunteers, donations of tools and equipment and funding to enable us to continue helping thousands of people to escape the cycle of poverty.







Early History

For more information on the early history of WORKAID click HERE