Never too late was the implied response at Whitby Town Shed!
Eskmouth Scout Hall is also the home of Whitby Doing Project which does for non-Shedders what the Shed does for . . . . Shedders. But even Whitby Town Shed can veer away from wood’n’stuff to doing of a different kind and this week to housework.
Betty never thought the men would have it in their portfolio of skills, nor in their wish to do housework. Known to some as a very difficult woman, Betty was speechless. She fell short of outright praise, of course, and probably marked us down as being in need of improvement.
All jokes aside (they were jokes Betty) what was done in a morning of muscle and mind was transformative to the workshop and it was greatly enjoyed. Even Krampus had a smile on his face!
Major reorganisation of cupboards and workbenches plus had air cleaner going too as the floor was swept up. Time for floor paint but after the toilets are finished decorating.
Sheds on Prescription
Just published in August’s UKMSA Shoulder to Shoulder online newsletter is a piece written by Claire Walker team leader for the Link Workers in Norton. It was written as an account of her experience of involvement with Norton Men’s Shed which was at Day -45. (yes, -45), Ever since then she has been a staunch contributor to the evolution of the Norton Shed and has helped to shape the group’s engagement with other Social Prescriber Link Worker teams generally.Sheds on Prescription
It is a cascade model. :ink Workers were introduced about 4 years ago (just pre-Covid) as a help to GPs in their prescribing. Now Sheds (and other activities of course) can be voluntary help to Social Prescribers who need (really do need) groups to work with who can incorporate people introduced by the SP to join in some inclusive activity.
In Whitby District the Sheds (SAMS in Littlebeck in 2016) began with help from NYC’s (in those olden days NYCC!) Living Well team, a forerunner really of Social Prescribers and who still exist. They needed us and we realised we needed them because we wanted to attract “those at some kind of a loss” needing active companionship and not hobbyists as such.
When SAMS started there were 250 Sheds in UK, There are now 1100 and growing fast – all independently run. Why successful, because they involve people (mem and women) in doing and not just sitting (unless they sit and do!). That’s the therapy, doing together, being together and caring about each other. We are not a “service” but an opportunity with which as little stigma attached of MH as possible. The fact is that isolation and loneliness drive people people can quietly “round the bend” and out of sight.
So, in a real way response to Social Prescribing has been in our DNA for 8 years almost although the principle of it goes back donkey’s years in other forms from which there is much to learn.
Here are some Stories of Whitby Shedders that may not have been published on this website in this form. They were wititten as contributions about Shedders for the UKMSA collection.
Some old faces (and younger faces than now!)Shedder's Stories
A difficulty is that what the public often sees about Sheds on news items about Sheds is about the physical (what the eye sees) but not so much about the heart of the matter. Make no mistake, Sheds play an important role particularly in men’s mental health and mutual support. Sheds can swerve people from suicidal thoughts and have done. The extent of that preventive work will never be known, of course, but we are generally not made for living on desert islands.
PS. Non typical Shed stuff like BayThorpe’s community projects and car park management (!), Whitby Doing Place and Staithes’ Growing project are for the same ends as indeed the prime example of Whitby Beach Sweep (ask ElaineM what that can achieve in far from a rubbish way!