A new fully functioning, family friendly workshop in Horsforth
I’m guessing that you may well have heard of Men’s Sheds, it seems they are popping up everywhere including a great one in Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. These are community based projects, where men can come together to learn, share skills and make long-lasting friendships together.
Horsforth Shed is a little different, but how?
Originally a scout hut sited in the car park of St James Woodside Church in Horsforth the building was in a state of disrepair and demolition was imminent. However Pete Gillions, an ex Design & Technology teacher, had a different idea. His vision was to see the building refurbished and re-purposed, as a high spec multi-material workshop. Thankfully many individuals and businesses captured this vision and gave their time, skills and money to making the dream a reality.
The result of all this generosity and hard work is a fully functioning, comfortable workshop akin to those found in many of the new build high schools around our city. The workshop also has a beautifully designed kitchen social area. We have found this space to be as important as the workshop itself, giving people a chance to make friends, share ideas or share their struggles in a safe setting. At the end of the day whilst we love a practical project, people are our priority.
Our aim is to work with anyone who finds themselves on the fringes of society for whatever reason. This is why we haven’t adopted the word ‘men’ in our charity name, just Horsforth Shed, as all are welcome.
One of our regular groups come from Lighthouse, a community that reaches out to those battered and bruised by the storms of life, including homelessness, addiction issues, criminal backgrounds, poverty and crisis in mental health.
The high standard to which the Horsforth Shed has been finished, means that we can also open our doors to children, as well as adults. Earlier this year we had a group of young people, from an alternative school provision, join us to make themselves a beech spatula. We have also worked alongside those who have struggled to get back into school and some looked-after children, keen to learn new skills.
Volunteering is at the heart of how Horsforth Shed came about and continues to be central to how we function. We now have a team of nine skilled voluntary Shed Supervisors, many of whom are ex teachers and several who have worked with adults and children with additional needs. We also have a joiner and an electrician on the team who are able to share their skills with the other supervisors as well as the Shed users.
We’ve been open since October 2021 and have already worked with groups and individuals ranging from 13-81 years of age.
We welcome enquiries from:-
- Other service providers who also aim to reduce loneliness and isolation and to promote social inclusion.
- Individuals who are perhaps feeling isolated or struggling with their mental health and would like to learn some skills in a supportive environment.
- Those with skills in wood, metal, plastic and textiles who want to work with others and pass on their skills.
- Companies who would like to send their employees to corporate team building days run by Horsforth Shed.
- Donors interested in supporting Horsforth Shed.