It’s been a difficult time trying to raise funds during the pandemic. We have been successful with a few grant applications but we still need to raise a significant amount of money to complete our shed build and fit out. If you can please donate whatever you are able on our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ShirleyMensShedElectricity
This is our first update for a while, and in the background a lot (on our build), and not a lot (meeting face to face wise), has been happening.
We have been restricted in our ability to get together to meet and do much work at our site because of the pandemic, so we have devoted most of our recent efforts to planning and fundraising and we have made some significant progress on our build. We are still trying to meet twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings under Covid and social distancing guidelines. Here is an update on progress.
We took the decision some time ago to purchase a custom made building (rather than build our own) but, even so, as we were starting from scratch with just a patch of ground we have had to (amongst other things):
- Organise and sign a lease on the land – Done.
- Clear the land – Done.
- Obtain building regulations approval for the build – Done.
- Arrange for the provision of water, drainage and electricity. – Partially complete.
- Prepare for and lay the base for the shed to sit on – Done.
- Build the shed – Partially done.
Our shed base was laid in late April by Pro Build and the major part of the shed building was put up on 1st June by Olson Timber Buildings.
This is a very significant and pleasing milestone for us. We have been waiting for this day for almost four years! We now have a weatherproof permanent building (albeit just a shell at the moment!) for our members to meet in.
You can see some images of our progress on our Gallery page http://shed.stjamesroad.co.uk/index.php/gallery/
We now need to raise more funds to finish the building so that we can open properly and allow our members to use the shed.
Just some of the things left to do are:
- Landscaping around the building.
- Insulate the building and plasterboard all the internal walls.
- Install and commission internal electrics.
- Fit a kitchen/clean up area.
- Install and connect electricity and water.
- Install security measures.
- Make sure that the whole site and building are safe to use for all users.
We will continue to progress our build and fit out as funds permit over the next few months. Quite when we will be able to open properly depends though on us raising more funds.
We have been successful in applying for and receiving some grants that have enabled us to prepare the shed base and to contribute toward the costs of utility provision and for the shed itself.
However, we still need in the region of £20,000 – £30,000 to finish the work needed on the building to get it to a state where we can use it fully and safely.
We will be launching a fund raising drive in late June (so look out for that on our social media feeds) but in the meantime if you would like to make a donation please contact us or use our JustGiving page here – https://www.justgiving.com/shirleymensshed
And finally, if you want to come and join us, even if it just to sit and watch us work and have a coffee and a chat, please contact us by email – email@example.com
Thanks to more than fifty sponsors, we have raised over £1600 for Shirley Men’s Shed from our walk from the shed site, to Totton Men’s Shed, Nursling Men’s Shed and back to ours. If you are one of the sponsors, thank you so much! We are applying for grants which will multiply your gifts several times over. So you might like to know how it went.
Back in September, the weather forecast for Hallowe’en looked quite good for a walk. Each day, the forecast changed between light rain and no rain. Then in the last week of October, Storm Aidan came our way. That morning, just before our scheduled departure, we (Hugh Evans, Pete Baker and I) huddled in the porch at St James Road Methodist Church and watched the downpour subside a bit, so off we went. In a few moments, the rain stopped.
As we turned into Cumbrian Way, it started again, harder. We discussed whether to take shelter, and opted not to as the rain probably wouldn’t continue for long – and true enough, it didn’t. As we passed Green Park, the next wave of rain came horizontally.
After a couple of thoughtless motorists shared Totton’s puddles with us, I tested out my theory that if you walk right next to the puddles and look at the drivers’ faces, they avoid splashing you. It’s a high-risk strategy, but it worked.
We peeked in the unlit windows of Totton Men’s Shed, but they must have assumed we wouldn’t be going. Oh well. The rain stopped as we headed up Salisbury Road and cut through the industrial estate. Over a footbridge, over a stile and suddenly we were in the country!
It’s a very pleasant walk to the next stile, except for the last couple of metres of ankle-deep rainwater, and on to Nursling Mill, now converted to apartments – that must be a very peaceful place to live. Then we took an unmarked footpath heading towards the rather less peaceful M27. Under the tunnel, and we were soon at Nursling Men’s Shed, in the old Church Rooms next to St Boniface Church.
Having allowed time for a chat in Totton, we arrived ahead of time at Nursling and found it locked, but one of the Shedders (Graham) soon arrived, ushered into the dry and made coffee as we had our sandwiches. Then another Brian joined us, and Fred arrived with a big bag of rock cakes. That was a very welcome stop.
Parts of Upton Lane can flood quite deeply and right across, as we discovered, but the sun came out for the last four miles down Romsey Road and back to our Shed site, to a rapturous welcome.
Did we enjoy it? Yes, we did, despite the conditions. Would we do it again? Well, maybe, visiting other Sheds. Would you sponsor us again, and even come with us? You don’t have to answer that – at least, not yet!
Thanks again for your support,
All best wishes,
The Easter event at St James’ Park that we were planning to attend has been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation.
If you would like to get involved with establishing our shed, or just keep in touch with our progress, then our next open meeting is on Thursday 22 November at 19:30 at St James Road Methodist church, please come along.