Dizzy Heights (with a bit about Sheds reopening but not quite now!)

Take a look at this.  Graham’s pilot neighbour mentioned that he had volunteered to help. It’s stressful for airline staff when flying and in some ways more stressful now with furloughing and job cuts. The NHS likewise in other ways. Put the two together and “doing good” lifts the spirits. 

Well done airline crew, NHS staff and the Hospital Trust. All seeing an opportunity. It’s a bit Shed like with sophistication 🙂

Project Wingman lands at James Cook Hospital

Posted on 

Pilots and crew from several UK airlines are providing staff at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust a first class lounge and service including teas, coffees and light snacks to help teams de-stress at work.

Project Wingman Lounge at The James Cook University Hospital

Project Wingman Lounge at The James Cook University Hospital

The Project Wingman lounge has been set up in the STRIVE Academic Centre common room at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough to support staff during COVID-19.

It offers a safe space for staff to talk to someone about their experiences, relax over a tea or coffee or just have some time away from the work environment before, during and after hospital shifts – all in a lounge setting similar to those enjoyed by first-class passengers at airports.

The lounge is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.

The lounge is part of Project Wingman – a UK wide initiative spearheaded by pilots in command, David Fielding and Emma Henderson.

Project Wingman

The lounge is a place for staff to go and relax

Project Wingman has been set up to support NHS staff during and after the COVID-19 response. It brings together crews from every UK airline, who have been furloughed, grounded or made redundant due to the pandemic.

“We would like to encourage everyone working at the hospital to take advantage of this opportunity.”Jennie Winnard, director of education and organisational development at the trust said: “We are thrilled to welcome this fantastic initiative to the trust. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Project Wingman volunteers for giving up their time to help support the wellbeing of our hard-working staff when they need it most.”

Emma Henderson, co-founder of Project Wingman, added: “As many of our pilots and cabin crew are currently grounded or on reduced duties due to coronavirus, we wanted to focus our efforts on giving back to the NHS heroes who are working tirelessly during this pandemic.”

“We’re so pleased to be able to offer the Project Wingman service for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It’s very rewarding to see that the relaxing space is making a difference to the hard-working teams.”


Beeswax adds lustre to wood. You can buy it but also make it, which is what Graham’s son Kevin did.  

Get buzzzy.


Gated at Sleights Primary School

Bob & Graham have carried on with the work on the school gates. Part of their detention!

It is one of the wonders of volunteering that conversations follow. The staff had a late afternoon meeting (socially distanced we’re told). So the work on the gates was going on after the close of the school day but before the close of the staff day:-)

The Headteacher, Scott Grason, emerged and we talked “Shoulder to Shoulder” leaning 2m apart against the blue railings that the school staff prepared and painted themselves.

The conversation stretched into what the school had been doing during Covid-19 that extended not just to children but to the families. Supporting families and receiving support from families was Graham’s feeling. In fact it is expressed in their account on their web-site.  http://sleights.n-yorks.sch.uk/ 

Here is their Summary About page (highlighting is Graham’s)

About Us

Situated three miles from the stunning Whitby coastline, our school serves the children and families of Sleights village and the surrounding areas. We currently have just over 100 children on roll across six classes. We are proud that children are able to start their time at Sleights from 2 years old in our nursery class Explorers.
We are a hardworking, well respected and motivated school, committed firmly to the belief that every child can achieve. Our vision is working together to be happy; to flourish; to succeed. As the Headteacher of Sleights, I am determined to make sure that every child succeeds and is given the opportunities, support and challenge needed to help them flourish.
Enriching the curriculum is a key part of ensuring that every child can do this. In our extensive grounds, we have our very own forest that we access to support outdoor learning. Children enjoy learning a variety of skills in the forest and being able to think, develop, build resilience and make progress in the great outdoors.
Working collaboratively is a key driver for our school. Relationships and support from parents and families is strong and means a great deal to us. As a Church school, we also have a firm relationship with the local churches and community. In addition, our school Governors act as supportive critical friends who play a key role in the school’s development.
We very much believe that it is our responsibility to make sure that the ‘one chance’ children get at school is the best chance possible. Our safe, open and inclusive school works tirelessly to meet the needs of every individual and family in order to help each child be happy, flourish and succeed. 
If you would like to come see what we do, please do get in touch!
Scott Grason, Headteacher


COLLABORATIVE, PARENTS, FAMILIES, RESPONSIBILITY and many other “trigger” words are in the statement but it is also acted out as our Shed relationship develops. 

The Headteacher revealed a dream. To get local older residents back into the Beyond Housing meeting room across the road from the school with children AGAIN.  It used to happen monthly and all generations benefitted.

The school needs someone to be there to be responsible for building (I think that was it) and that is where I believe volunteering can in! Collaboration comes in. We shall be following this up with/for the school. Never problems, just opportunities!


SHEFEST IS ON FOR 3 DAYS. This is the Blind Woodturner. Just watch and listen. Inspirational


Sheds Opening?

In the afternoon on ShedFest Zoom there was a discussion between an Englishman, Irishman, Welshman, Scottish man and an Aussie (the AMSA chief). No jokes please!

If I was looking for clarity, it was not the place to look. Different administrations and no direct reference to activities like Sheds, of course. Are we a village hall, a shop, a church? Looking for equivalences.

Here are some key comments from what I picked up (may well be summarised by UKMSA in due course). In no particular order:-

  • Very few Sheds are open anywhere. In Oz only opened about two weeks ago but not all, because landlords have to agree (understandably) since there may be others uring parts of the bigger premises.
  • Where Sheds have gone back, they are much quieter because of age many men are respecting their underlying health and being very cautious. Men miss it all and they know they will be back and are looking forward to it, but are cautious. Building confidence slowly.
  • In Australia they use an estimate of 4 square metres/person max overall i.e. 2m x 2m. Layouts are reconfigured and designed to minimize movement past people too closely etc.
  • Rotas for attending or people booking are other common mechanisms in place. No longer just dropping in.
  • Face coverings as a protection to others especially if it is less than 2 metres at any time.
  • Cleaning regimes a shared responsibility between building owner and Shed. Each knowing what each other are doing and when. 
  • Some discussion about Sheds being left 3 days between uses but that complicated by the fact of lower capacity and maybe need for for sessions). 
  • Into all this comes rental cost. Sheds well thought of by communities so landlords are understanding.
  • It will take time to rebuild many community activities, not just Sheds. All so important to mental health.
  • Loss of jobs/furloughing is having an impact on people and relationships


Top: England, Wales, Scotland          Bottom: Ireland (North & South) and Australia

From The Big Issue sent by Street Angels Whitby for us to see!

Finally, Staithes

Good work to clear wood in the other side of the extension and to complete the floor.

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