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Happy Birthday, Man Shed!

Tuesday 20 June

It feels like the blink of an eye but Man Shed received its Grand Opening by TV sports presenter John Inverdale and our Chief Executive, Nicki Shaw, a year ago today (20 June 2016).

Since Man Shed opened its doors it has gone from strength to strength, providing a vital and supportive space for the bereaved and those affected by terminal illness to work ‘shoulder to shoulder’ on practical projects.

Kathy Birch, Day Services and Therapies Manager and the Project Lead for Man Shed said: “We now have seven Session Leaders, a co-ordinator and an ambassador, all of whom are volunteers. More Session Leaders are being recruited and trained and, along with me and Operational Services team, meet to manage its day to day running and direction.

“In the last year we have received more than 50 referrals or ‘shedders’ who have been a mix of patients, carers and bereaved carers, all of whom have really benefitted from being given a sense of purpose and the opportunity to continue with a hobby and meet people who can give them that vital support.

“In only a relatively short space of time, Man Shed has presented us with additional opportunities to reach out to our communities by partnering with local businesses who donate resources and also by hosting the Esher Wood Carving Group [See dovenet’s home page Notices section for info on a wood carving demo on 30 June.]

“There is no end to the possibilities that a resource like Man Shed can provide in the future. We’ve received some fantastic feedback – it has made such a profound difference for many people.”

One regular shedder said: “Man Shed has given me friendship and camaraderie. It’s a great place to meet and make new friends. Plus it’s great for making wooden toys, bird boxes etc. Life is well worth living. Thank you.”

Bob Ward, Man Shed Session Leader said: “The best thing about the Man Shed is how we can help the shedders to give them the confidence to move on with their lives after bereavement or illness. The atmosphere here is truly marvellous.”

Man Shed started to sell its products at the Christmas Fair 2016 and made over £500. Their chopping boards and bird boxes sold out in less than an hour. They’ve just had a stall at the Summer Fete & Dog Show where there were some extremely impressive bird tables, hedgehog houses, frog/toad houses and upcycled furniture for sale.