Coming to Terms with Change items

Grin and bear it may be the motto of many people when it comes to change. Hopefully not a motto for Shedders always wanting to make a difference (despite the outcome!).

First change from the digital revolution to make you smile . . . .

Here’s a big kid, Shedder Dave, as he helped shift equipment from the Annex at Littlebeck.

He’s with one of his favourite notices. As Bob, Dave and left there was a group of motorcyclists parked. One of them was riding a bike he bought in 1961 and still rides. They a group mainly from Kent who had brought their bikes up by truck to spend a holiday based on Scarborough but escaping to the country on their vintage steeds.

Our Sheds have looked forward to change

We’ve always been forward looking. One, two, three, four Sheds. Helping the community, Encouraging children and young people. Working with other organisations and individuals in the task of helping people. It has kept us focused outwards and fed our sense of purpose, the antidote to losing hope.

Moving things from Littlebeck caused us to rediscover some of our past and mementos of exploits we got up to and awards won including Two Ridings Community Foundation’s Dragon’s Den competition, the Spotlight event at Scarborough YMCA and Graham’s favourite the mental health Friendly Places certificate. It’s that which we do. People, people, people.

In recent months we’ve paid attention to changes in those we relate to regarding referrals/introductions. A new connection has been established with a new team, the Link Workers attached to the surgeries in Whitby district. Just what the doctor ordered!!

There needs to be a path for people who are lonely and isolated or otherwise feeling disconnected from others. Covid-19 has exacerbated it. They need routes back to social inclusion and their old “normality”. They need signposts to activities to interest that re-engage them in social contact naturally. Sheds, we all know, can do that and do it well.

As well as signposts (and signposters) they sometimes need people to “walk beside” them to support as they take what can seem a lengthy, anxious journey. It may be a simple thing for us to walk through a door, but for some it is literally fearful to do.

We need people of compassion for that, Frome needed that and 7 years ago “they” embarked upon creating a culture of compassion bottom up to meet those in “authority” top down.  The pyramid in other words. 

This week approaching 20 people over two Zoom sessions heard from Patrick Abrahams the founder of Frome Men’s Shed in 2014  and one of the earliest supporters and adopters of the principles and strategies that led to their “compassionate community”.

The Community Connectors, the Directory and the Talking Cafe venues were the deceptively simple components in a cross cutting initiative that built collaboration and trust between all sorts of organisations and people. It worked and it works.

The Whitby Community Alliance is bedding in and there is genuine mutual support at various levels. There is growing openness. 

If this all seems airy fairy there are two solid vanguard initiatives in gestation, centred on Sleights and Lythe and covering their local catchments. 

All forward looking. Something to look forward to!  For community, by community.

Here is September’s Shoulder to Shoulder newsletter from UKMSA which includes a “Northern Ambassador from The South”

Click this link to read the full Shoulder to Shoulder. Always an interesting, bite-sized read. You can register to receive it yourself. 



Meet a Northern Ambassador from ‘The South’: Graham Storer of Whitby District Sheds

Here is a response from another Ambassador, Grahan Gowman, of the Nursling Shed, Southampton

Hi Graham,

Congratulations on your posting in shoulder to shoulder. Good times and tough times. One thing I notice when meeting other Sheds is the perception that founders are doing it for others, when in truth we need the Shed as well. Sure it can be a pain at times but what a worthwhile way to top & tail a lifetime of effort Use our experience and put something back.

Stay safe
Graham Gowman

Absolutely. Those who have not had tough times or not travelled with those who have do not really understand what Sheds are about!

Thanks mate.


SAMS beginning to turn

The lathe was set up in the garage Shed by Shedders Keith and Graham with Eddie turning up to borrow and store for a while a sliding cross cut saw and a stand drill. The banter flowed!

Keith christened the lathe in its new location.

He must ha. ve been a beautiful baby. Look at Eddie now:-)

SAMS is being pieced together. It’s becoming more and more like a grotto!

Yes, inside we have the fairy lights up. On top, the Aussie triangular sail has been pressed into service as additional roof protection that leads rain from one of the four sides into a gutter.

Bungee rope (20m of it) helps to control the gazebo from getting into a flap. 

Necessity is the mother (in our case father) of invention.


We also recovered our original SAMS banner. Shed loads of FUN which indeed we’ve had for four and a half years.

The word map below reflects the frequency of those words in some original text we wrote describing SAMS. 


Now, a Virtual Journey through many of our familiar railway stations as deduced from historical records. 

Sleights with its past coal yard is there!

Finally, Monday 17th August

The Shed at Staithes is on the point of re-opening on Thursday this week. Today Maggie came and helped in a thorough clean of the floor and equipment. First time for about 5 months since lockdown! She thoroughly enjoyed it and we took a half price lunch at the local cafe. 


Maggie had a plate of corned beef pie, chips and peas. Massive, but she worked her way through to clear her plate!

Meanwhile in Sleights Bob was busy making a rocking chair. For a teddy bear again. Off his rocker.


Comments are closed.