This has been a really good week for local charities.

I was really pleased to highlight excellent Ipswich charity Tools With A Mission in the House of Commons Chamber to Minister Mims Davies, the Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression.

Alongside this I welcomed the wonderful BSC Multicultural Services to Number 10 for the Local Charity Champions Reception. 

  I visited Tools With A Mission only a few weeks ago to see for myself the brilliant work that many of my constituents are undertaking as volunteers and met with Mike Griffin, the Chief Executive, and Paul White the Fundraising Officer.  

Ipswich Star: Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, welcomed the members of BSC Multicultural Services, to the Downing Street receptionTom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, welcomed the members of BSC Multicultural Services, to the Downing Street reception (Image: Tom Hunt's office)

Tools With A Mission refurbishes and recycles old and used work tools, sorts them into trade specific kits, and sends them to developing countries in Africa, with a view to be used on projects that create sustainable jobs.

Their work makes a tremendous impact on huge numbers of people living in extreme poverty. It's also worth considering the fact that if these tools were not repaired and recycled they would almost certainly be destined for landfill!  

During my visit I saw a huge pile of tools, power tools, sewing machines and vices that were going to Zambia soon.

I heard some great stories of how Tools With A Mission has positively impacted people, giving them opportunities to make their own living, employing others locally to become tailors, electricians and join other trades.

Some of the people who have received a kit in a developing country have helped fund a school, through working in producing furniture in their own carpentry workshop. 

In addition to this, the charity also has a real local impact. The charity has a huge meaning for the 70-80 local volunteers.

They give a lot of post-workmen a purpose to get up and socialise, with the oldest volunteer being 91 years old!

They create a setting for people who are lonely, often people who are past working days or have send to find a newfound purpose and meaning by working towards a common goal. 

The charity deserves more recognition for the work they do at a national level, and there are active discussions already taking place about what further financial support may be available to enable them to increase the great work.  

I have been in contact with the Minister and have invited her to Ipswich next month to see the amazing Combat2Coffee, which she has accepted. Combat2Coffe do incredible work supporting veterans in Ipswich as well as offenders across local prisons. 

After raising Tools With A mission in the Chamber, I am very pleased the Minister has said she would like to also visit Tools With A Mission when she visits Ipswich.  

Ipswich Star: Tom Hunt presents Nigel Searman, founder of Combat2Coffee with the Points of Light Award.Tom Hunt presents Nigel Searman, founder of Combat2Coffee with the Points of Light Award. (Image: Tom Hunt)

  I also had the opportunity to nominate a local charity for the Local Charity Champions Reception at 10 Downing Street, an event organised by the Prime Minister's Office to celebrate those who make constituencies across the country a better place to live.  

I chose BSC Multicultural Services and had the pleasure of welcoming Boshor Ali, Chairperson and Mahbub Alam Shamim, Treasurer, to meet with Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 

As an Ambassador, I have seen first-hand the positive difference this charity makes in supporting some of the most vulnerable across Town.  

These are just three examples of fantastic local charities and social enterprises in Ipswich which provide invaluable support to some of the most vulnerable locally and globally and our society would be far poorer without them. 

Ipswich Star: Tom Hunt on a recent visit to Tools with a Mission.Tom Hunt on a recent visit to Tools with a Mission. (Image: Tom Hunt)