Wishing us all – ourselves, our friends and family and our community – a 2021 that allows a restoration of the best of the old normal, retaining the best of the new. 2020 taught us to appreciate and develop connectedness. Let’s all play our part in furthering that this year.

Click on the picture below.


Indeed the world turned upside down and has not yet righted itself.  The virus is keeping us all under pressure to stay apart as it seems to ebb and flow in impact. There is good news of vaccines which have resulted from remarkable ingenuity and international collaboration. 

I am personally extremely grateful  for the friendship and support of Shedders and others related to Sheds. It has kept up my spirits in 2020 and I hope you have felt some of the same. We often said that a Shed was like a family and 2020 proved the truth of it, to my satisfaction! Many of us (and two near octogenarians) discovered Zoom and other services that have kept us in touch in ways we had not dreamt of 12 months ago. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it is also the mother of action! 

2021 has promise. It has opportunity. There is developing open collaboration between organisations AND individuals. Things happening on the ground and under our influence and partial control. We have a seat at the table of the evolving Whitby Community Alliance of volunteer-based organisations. We are working closely with some to benefit particular individuals – Shedder Colin in Larpool and potential Shedder Philip in Littlebeck are two such people who do not mind being identified. 

Colin has benefitted directly from regular contact and activities by Ryedale Carers, Revival North Yorkshire, Wetwheels and the Sheds within the Alliance plus indirectly Age UK and SWR MIND (also in the Alliance) in the provision of communication gear. His Dalesmen singer colleagues too, of course. Philips story is similar. 

Young people have been hit hard in many tangible ways. The Kidz Making Good and Sleights Youth Shed are, like Sheds, closed. We are working with others to see ways to plug gaps in services in Whitby District and look forward to putting in place some “junior apprenticeships” using our premises and equipment but involving parents and local community volunteers too. Within a subgroup of the Alliance.

We are embarking on Whitby Community’s Compassion Project too to foster ways to support people through signposting. By the community, for the community. 

Restarting the Sheds must be our first goal and providing that core service. Children and Youth and the Compassion Project are progressing in our heads and on paper but have to await decisions on relaxing Covid-19 restrictions. 

There is a lot to think about even though we are kept apart. Hopes, dreams and aspirations to share in.

Happy New Year!

“Every little kindness was given it’s due.”  

5 Tips to Cope with Lockdown



Zoom Chat on Saturday January 2nd

It was a real entertainment with PhilipB popping in and out like a Whitehall farce (are you old enough to remember these with Brian Rix). His broadband signal was  not stable. He moved to his bedroom alongside the mobile hub but to little avail. His speech was very slurred and the picture not clear enough to assess whether he was steady on his feet. 

We eventually decided it must be weather conditions – there was low cloud over the hill from which his signal emerges (we believe). “Tell me what to do!, he exclaimed. There was silence from the remaining 6 of us. None of us could think how to magic the situation right.

It was brilliant and we all (including Philip I think) enjoyed the banter.  It’s quite hard to do banter on Zoom. It does not stop us. Some of the banter is facial in fact. A look says it all!

This is Elaine holding on!

These twice weekly episodes into the unknown are at least two fixed points in time in otherwise confusing Covid whitewashed weeks. We all ask what day it is!

Elaine sent a message –  a resolution possibly.

“Happy, healthy 2021 to all!! Maybe when the nights get a little lighter, I won’t have to do the dog walk when it’s Zoom time ”

Till we meet face to face again!!

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