Drawing Together

Fast changing situation with schools now set to close before normal Easter break with uncertainty when they might reopen.

It is an unprecedented set of events and consequences from the COVID-19 outbreak. Shedders will do what they can to help.

  • A lady in Sleights of a certain age has been advised by her granddaughters to stretch her legs going to the corner of her road. She is one who is well in the at high risk category. One of our Shedders was concerned lest she falls and suggested she call him when she was intending to take a stroll and he’d walk on the other side of the road. A safe distance, safety first and retaining some independence:-)
  • An 80 year old man Graham met at Scarborough Hospital a few weeks ago contacted because he was now in self isolation. He’d been interested in Sheds and had planned to visit us and a Shed in Scarborough. Sadly, not now. However he wants to join the Zoom Bantering Group and will be our first “virtual” Shedder!

Here is an update from North Yorkshire County Council regarding Coronavirus.

They want to put coordination of information in place including who might be doing what.

Good Afternoon,
The initial COVID-19 communities information from NYCC is available here https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-community-support and copied into this email further below.  More information will follow in due course.   
The situation is clearly developing fast and we in the Stronger Communities Team and me in Ryedale / North York Moors are focused on working alongside you all to work as a team to ensure our communities  are supported to manage challenges and support vulnerable people at this critical time. 
We are currently working hard and in partnership with the VCS around the infrastructure and support to best manage emerging needs and local arrangements for ensuring the current challenges are met.
We are also collecting information around community activity taking place in response to COVID-19 and would welcome a collaborative approach to this.  We are keen to share and work with districts, PCNs, and the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) on this as well as to support NYCC services and contact centre.
Whist much activity on the one hand is being suspended presently, I am sure you agree it is inspirational the wealth of developing ideas fighting back.  We want to support the collection of this both in terms of people who would benefit, people who want to volunteer, and recognised opportunities for people to volunteer to help.   If appropriate please could you send any information on your COVID-19 related community activity using the following headings?

[our response in red}

  • Organisation / Group Name      Whitby and Staithes Area Sheds
  • District     Whitby district Staithes to Robin Hood’s Bay and inland
  • Specific Location (Parish/Town)  Centred on Whitby but in surroundings
  • Requires New Volunteers for COVID-19 activity Y/N   No
  • Target Client Group    Men and Women appreciating being and working in a group or singly amongst others. Mainly post retirement age.
  • Offer  The Sheds are closed but we are prepared to consider lending a hand mainly in practical ways
  • Further Comments    We are setting up videoconferencing for groups of Shedders to continue with healthy banter. Very appropriate for other groups.
  • Contact Details   Graham Storer   07763 656627 graham_storer@btinternet.com
Best wishes,
NYCC – Website update:
North Yorkshire is a place where looking out for friends and neighbours is part of daily life and kindness comes naturally. These values are what helps make the county such a special place to live, work and visit.
We know that people will want to help their communities and we’re encouraging everyone to look out for anyone in their immediate area who might need help whilst also keeping themselves safe.
What can I do to help my family, friends and neighbours?
Wherever possible people who are self-isolating are being encouraged to ask for help from family, friends, and neighbours. We would encourage everyone who can help others to let their family, friends and neighbours know if they are available and what they can do to help.
The type of help which could be offered includes:
  • collecting and delivering shopping – leaving deliveries on the doorstep or safe place to avoid close physical contact;
  • suggesting local shopping options and trusted suppliers;
  • collecting and delivering prescriptions if you are the nominated person registered with the GP;
  • caring for pets;
  • regular social contact via telephone, FaceTime, skype calls or other methods that will avoid physical contact (offering to call your neighbour who can’t get out so they have someone to chat to on the phone could make all the difference);
  • encouraging people to contact others in the same situation by linking people together;
  • delivering books and magazines or materials to support hobbies such as wool for knitting or art materials;
  • reassuring people with accurate and up to date advice and information; and
  • signposting people to other sources of help if needed.
What else can I do to help?
 We are aware that informal networks of volunteers are being set up. We are also encouraging established local groups to consider what support they may be able to provide. There may be a group in your neighbourhood that needs extra volunteers.
If you would like to offer your time to a local charity, voluntary organisation or community group with COVID-19 support but are unsure who to talk to, please contact the customer service centre on 01609 780780.
There are also a number of social media groups being set up in towns, villages and local neighbourhoods. People are signing up to offer their time to help people who are self-isolating. Our advice is that help should wherever possible avoid physical contact and be focussed on immediate local areas.
You can find government guidance on coordinating a local group.
It is also important that people volunteering manage their own wellbeing. We don’t know how long this situation will last and we need to make sure we stay healthy and don’t put ourselves at unnecessary risk of infection or of infecting others. Please follow national guidance on what action to take to stay safe.
I need help and support
Our advice to anyone self-isolating is to ask for help from family, friends, neighbours and trusted local groups.
For anyone who doesn’t have someone they can call on for help, we’re encouraging them to contact the county council customer service centre who will signpost people to the right support.
That will include adult social care teams, a trusted local voluntary group or NHS 111 depending on what they need.
People who need help can call the customer service centre on 01609 780 780.
Our opening times are:
  • Monday to Friday, 8am-5.30pm; and
  • Saturday, 9am-5pm (social care enquiries only).
Get other ways to contact us.
Information for voluntary organisations, charities and community groups
Voluntary organisations, charities and community groups provide valuable services, activities and opportunities for social contact. Often these groups are for older people and many of the volunteers will be older themselves.
If you are a voluntary or community group and have recently stopped delivering services and activities or you’re thinking about doing so please let us know. This may be your contract manager, stronger communities or the service development team. If you’re unsure who your usual contact is please call the customer service centre on 01609 780 780.
There are other things volunteers can do to help reduce the risk of loneliness and social isolation of your members and others in your community such as:
  • phoning people to check they are ok and to have a chat;
  • encouraging group members to contact each other by asking for permission to share contact details;
  • helping people with things such as shopping or caring for pets during periods of self-isolation; and
  • encouraging people self-isolating to ask family, friends and neighbours for help.
  • if you know of anybody in your community who you think needs support and where they don’t have anyone locally who can help, please encourage them to contact the customer service centre on 01609 780780.
Community First Yorkshire are posting regular updates to support voluntary sector groups.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations are also keeping their website regularly updated with ideas and advice.
Best Wishes,
Paddy Chandler
Stronger Communities Delivery Manager (Ryedale & North York Moors)
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH
01609 53 2265


UKMSA – Connecting Sheds by Radio!!

Shed Happens – Even when you’re self-isolating

The UK Men’s Shed Association wants to ensure that where Shedders are following NHS Guidelines on Coronavirus and have to self-isolate, that they have a ‘Virtual Shed’ they can listen to and interact with online. The UKMSA wants to keep Shedders connected.  We are producing a weekly radio show called “Shed Happens” , that will broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am to 12:00 on Frome FM, which can be listened to online nationwide. http://frome.fm/listennow/ or Frome 96.6FM

Currently the first show is planned for Wednesday, 25th March, with four shows scheduled for the same time every week through to 7th April.  We may have further shows beyond that date, subject to the Government self-isolation guidelines.

The radio show will be made up of telephone interviews with Shedders country-wide about their Sheds, and what they get up to in them. There will also be other guests taking part, which may include subject matter experts, there will some music, and also the opportunities for Sheds to send messages to their Shedders who are self-isolating.  We anticipate that there will be ideas from contributors on how Shedders can “stay connected”. This will include examples of Community involvement, like the Community cards offering help. We aim to have a level of light-heartedness and humour.

Some of the show may be pre-recorded. We may have topics for discussion, or just have conversations with the Shedders. The emphasis will not be on COVID-19, but on “Sheds Staying connected”. We will be receiving other inputs during the show on Twitter, Facebook and via Text, which may form part of the show.

In most cases contributors will give their consent by simply agreeing to be recorded for the show or by contributing online. Contributors will be asked if they wish their contact information to be retained. Here’s the important piece – If you would like to take part in the radio show, please email shedhappens@ukmsa.org.uk with a brief summary about yourself and the Shed you go to, your phone number, and a suitable time when you can be telephoned for a pre-show discussion. We are very sorry that we may not be able to include everybody who wants to take part.
 If your Shed has a “Shed song”, or other musical recording, then please be in touch, along with a link to the recording, or an attached audio file.
After the “Shed Happens” Show are broadcast live they can be listened to on demand online.

You will be able to communicate with the Show during the broadcast, via Twitter, Facebook and Text,  more details on this, and how to listen to the show in the next few days.

Best Regards
The UK Men’s Sheds Team

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