This is not about money, but about interest in the Sheds! The rate of interest is definitely on the up and quite noticeable this autumn at most of our venues. First, some indications of what is happening and then supposition as to why.
At Staithes since the summer two new members have been added to our complement who have physical disabilities but no shortage of thinking power nor perseverance. We have received a Shedder back from a project at home for she who must be obeyed. He returns just when we need him to help with the wooden shed refurbishment. We had a meeting about it between Staithes Shedders to agree the approach and now work is underway. We had a new man arrive today from Scaling area who knows his stuff about routers and later this week another new man (interested in IT and electronics) should arrive from Redcar area.
We are reaping benefits from Brian’s involvement as a driver for Lythe monthly Farmer’s Breakfast. There is reportedly at least one new candidate for the Staithes Shed from that source. We will be giving a Breakfast talk sometime
The common factor amongst all is isolation to one degree or another.
At Whitby, we have two “recent” new men with a new man and woman scheduled this week or next. One of our Shedders has returned after a break.
At Littlebeck, there are two relatively new Shedders with a likely third shortly. BayThorpe is brewing nicely, of course.
Getting the message out. Sheds need to be communicated to people who may not well understand the “magic” of a shared workplace and the relationships that are possible. The best way is for them to experience it by attending and feeling the atmosphere.
NYCC Living Well in Whitby has been one of our strongest partners in bringing potential candidates along. Yes, bringing them so as to bridge the gap if individuals lack the confidence to come on their own. Others have been Carers Resource and now the Lythe Farmers’ Breakfast.
Together, we take a tailored approach for people’s personal situations and share in their support.
Last weekend the Warm and Well/McMillan Coffee morning event organised by Churchfield Surgery and the Totally Socially “Social” were two excellent occasions when various agency and voluntary services could share informally about how we can serve people better together.
So, why is the interest taking hold?
- It has the feel of the situation in the first SAMS Shed in Littlebeck. It grew quickly because there was a “pre-prepared” small band (half a dozen) of men who knew “down” feelings and had come across each other over about 9 months. There was no intent on a Shed but they were ready for one. It was a response to personal need that people came.
- There is greater understanding amongst both agencies and friends/family/carers of the role of Sheds given legitimacy by the many mentions in the media of Sheds. They are now more understood as effective preventative actions against isolation and reduced wellbeing. For some, not all, of course. Sheds have no stigma to attendance.
- The spread of our small Sheds along our part of the NY Coast has spread the word and accounts and stories of outcomes are finding their way into the communities locally.
- The voluntary sector and agencies are getting to know each other and discovering the “satisfaction” of working together and appreciating each other for what each does. We know Sheds are not the answer for everything, they have to see themselves as part of a wider action initiative that in many ways is rediscovering community as it was and still is in oft hidden ways.
- We are all in it together. Our with and for people.work is a few bricks in the community house! Take a Google look at the towns Frome and Fleetwood to see the way such blocks have been encouraged to build together in a flexible, diverse, but caring, community. Quite a few Shedders and others see this as a way forward in our area and that “bigger picture” view of what we are about leads us to take an outward as well as an inward view of what we do.
- We relate to the Shed movement and appreciate the role that UK Men’s Sheds Association has and is playing in spreading the word and particularly helping groups start with sound advice. We also thank our Aussie cousins who gave us the approach to a more relaxed life (!) and thank Len Thomson of the Labrador Shed (and now on the Australian national Board) for his role model guidance over the past two years.
These are just some views on what may be going on.
Mental Health Training Workshop
There is a workshop next Monday morning in Whitby by MIND for our Sheds and for other interested organisations and individuals. It’s free,