Not much to snooze on

What will this week unfold in the Shed? 

Last week was not a good week for some in our Sheds.  It’s when we realise that the Sheds are not just a workplace of sorts but are places of heart where we can put a proverbial hand on a shoulder.

It’s not a man thing to express feelings that often and sometimes it only requires some people to be around, shoulder to shoulder to help us stagger through a situation.

Pink lids on storage boxes

Why pink?  They were the only colour available, the boxes were the right size, were well reported on and cheap. Cheap but not flimsy. They are destined for Whitby’s Library of Things as storage on the racks.

They were an online only for collection order through Asda. It proved to be a whole new experience for Graham as he was confronted with a machine demanding a QR code.

Human beings have become a last resort but when doing something you’ve never done before it calls for that human touch of assistance, not a robot.

Food for Shed Thought

BBC News – Surge in ill health will have major impact on NHS

The development of Sheds (30 years in Australia, 10 years in UK and nearly 8 in Whitby district) is a very important pillar in health transformation.  Discuss maybe at the Sheds!

First day experience at the Shed

Somehow the piece below reappeared on my desktop this morning!  It was like the past going before my eyes.

Maybe Rob should see his past confronting him. It was a piece that he wrote immediately after his first visit. A contemporaneous account!

First-Day-at-the-Shed (2)


Publishing this again to a new audience (it was written in early January 2020) is important. It points out how significant a visit to a Shed can be! A life changer! Marie said the same thing in a recent piece. 

Rob has had a pivotal role in Whitby Town Shed evolution/revolution.  Always looking to see how the work of the Shed can be enhanced and reach more people “at a loss” for them to help themselves and each other.

Rob never turned to woodturning. Covid-19 lockdown stopped play for 18 months and when we all got together again Rob turned to supporting the Shed to not only re-establish but to broaden the way it worked. Working with Graham and Marie, Betty, Tony, Ray  . . . .  The nuts that hold the wheel in place.

We’ve always had a well experienced consultant involved too. Behind the scenes and occasionally on stage Elaine Marsh has often shared her insights and gut feeling on matters of Whitby Shed development. She has done the same for BayThorpe Shed while delivering her own baby forward, Whitby Beach Sweep.  Giving birth on a beach is surely an uncomfortable experience. 

Whitby today

Three girls (with mum) came to keep Rob on his toes.

The first 8 boxes fit well.  7 to go on the shelf above. Beginnings of the real storage for  Whitby Doing Place












Three bits of good news. 

  • BT Openreach attended and after months of complaints we actually have broadband. The problem weas a faulty card in the exchange.  So not the telegraph poles or the wires! We’ll be tooting up the cost of 6 months of service charges. Not a small sum. It means that Bryn & Aiden can do Sounds Creative properly and we can get Colin and other shut ins into the Shed and the Doing Place.  
  • An email came through with an offer letter for the NHS Micro Grant for the Doing Therapy extension to the Doing Place. There are some fabulous opportunities. We had talked about this with the 3 Girls’ mother Vicky Austin today and she had some excellent suggestions for how the Library of Things might develop. Very exciting.
  • Third bit of good news was the atmosphere. So little organisation but real progress. Marie was buried by boxes and was thrilled when one of the girls came up to collect a plastic box for their art work. Vicky commented on the intergeneration at work.  

There was a fourth bit of good news about BayThorpe Shed. They had a meeting with an advisor from Community First Yorkshire. It is about the purchase of the Scout Hut from Scarborough Scouts. It was a very positive meeting.  It should move forward smoothly though as with all things it may take a few months. It will be an asset for BayThorpe Shed but an asset available to the community for appropriate activities.  

Norton Anthony’s Big Garden Dream

The dream of Anthony (supported in independent living by MenCap) was to have a flat garden and a man cave (avoiding the use of the word shed!). It has been mentioned here before and thankfully it has attracted some donated materials, new and pre-loved.

Friday evening and Saturday 10am – 3pm saw a milestone reached in the work on (and in) the ground. A lot of effort went into planning and begging so it was rewarding to half a dozen involved Normens Shedders for the framework for decking boards to be set on. The problem was/is that the garden slopes markedly.  If Anthony uses a ball, guess where it ends up? 

Posts to be trimmed, weed fabric to be slid under, held down by stones (thanks to Jewson) and a little more timberwork to be done, but we can now receive some pre-loved decking from a local resident. In fair nick too.  That saves a small fortune these days.

We have a donated shed from recycle in store to be extended and adapted Shedder style to have a glazed front (a summerhouse in effect). Lining for the man cave is also in store, again pre-loved from a shop in Norton that removed it’s wall mounted display boards.

Once the man cave exists, it will be a trip to Howden’s for damaged units for cannibalisation to fit out the cave to accommodate two residents and a carer.  Many others high and low in the community have been involved in the chain of getting the project done which is very satisfying too, even if the Shed ended up in the mud!  All for Anthony’s good and encouragement for MenCap staff too. We all need a bit of cheer these days,

Two ex-forces in the trenches

Done Friday evening and Saturday till mid afternoon.









New Stockton Men’s Shed is underway at a location in Norton !  Getting premises is not easy, nor is containing enthusiasm of a new Shed community. Graham had helped the new Shed in his UKMSA Ambassadorial role (sound posh but there’s no red carpets!) but obviously was not prepared for another Shed within a mile of NORMENS. However, it will use school premises which means an evening Shed and weekend/non-term times. Work is still going on to find premises more central to Stockton in due course. We will be working shortly on a joint bid also with Hartlepool Shed (3 Sheds) requested by a recent funder. A men’s work strategy effectively.

BayThorpe at it too, possibly

Possibly restoration of low level graffiti of a community project they did a few years ago.  Remember the big galleon?  Help offered by Shed but arrangements have to be made by others to protect the public whilst any work done. Now is not the best time to do it probably, but it is the time for planning.

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