Its been a while since we published a newsletter, but since the end of the year is rapidly approaching, its appropriate that we let our supporters know what we are currently doing.
Thank you to everyone for raising donations for Men in Sheds West Bletchley with #easyfundraising! If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s easy and completely FREE. 4,300 shops and sites will donate to us when you use easyfundraising to do your everyday online shopping – at no extra cost to you! Every donation you raise makes a difference to us so please sign up & share today. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/meninshedswestbletchley/?invite=7504T1%26referral-campaign=c2s%26utm_campaign=admin-trigger%26utm_content=srt
The Shed has re-opened
The Shed has once again re-opened, but to ensure that it meets the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines, only a maximum of four people will be allowed on any given day to allow social distancing to be practiced and full hygiene is ensured.
To allow everyone chance to enjoy a Shed session, the Shed is now thanks to West Bletchley Council, open from Monday to Friday mornings from 10 am until 12.30 pm. We will be placing our sales tables outside the Shed so that anyone passing can view and purchase the goods the Shed members make to help cover our overheads. Please do come along and support us.
Move to larger premises
The Shed needs to move to larger premises if it is to grow and offer friendship and companionship to even more people by expanding our offer to include model making, IT skills, cookery and crafting. To do this, the Shed needs to raise money so if you can, please support the Shed by making a purchase of one its products.
Last fund raising event of 2019 for the Shed today with a stall presence at Christmas@Melrose, a local community event put on by West Bletchley Council. We did reasonably well and depleted our stock of plants and novelty items so guess the next few weeks we will be working to replenish these.
Over the last couple of months, the Shed have been making a chair to accommodate a loudspeaker within the seat as part of a national project to showcase the positive benefits that music can have on mild to medium mental health. The chair will later this year, join others made by Sheds elsewhere in the UK and form a circle around a centre sculpture; the idea is that each chair will play “Elvis Presley’s – Are You Lonesome Tonight” from a recording made by a number of choirs formed from around the country and mixed in a similar way to the Military Wives Choir. The exhibition that will showcase this event kicks off at the Kelham Industrial Museum in Sheffield in January and will tour various venues.
The brief allowed for the Shed to decide how to decorate the chair, so we decided that each chair leg would have a different design. The knobs on the top of the chair are two blocks of wood glued together and then turned into the shape of apples – this just shows how it is possible to re-purpose old wood and turn it into something else!
Do you use your mobile phone to order goods, groceries or for one-off things? If so, by logging into the Easy Fund Raising app available at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/easyfundraising-app/ you can raise money for the Shed at no extra cost to yourself. To do so, first you need to register your details but thereafter you just need to load the app then through that, follow the link to your online shop of choice. You will be asked to nominate an organisation to benefit so please consider typing “Men in Sheds West Bletchley” as your sponsored organisation. Amazon, Sainsbury’s Groceries, eBay and Argos are just some of the well-known retailers that give a small percentage of each transaction to our cause.
So far this year, we have raised over £148 towards the Sheds’ running expenses through the Easy fund Raising website. If you can, please consider helping us this way.
The Shed has spent the latter half of July and the first couple of weeks during August, erecting play equipment during Shed sessions for Rickley Park School – an inclusive primary school based in Rickley Lane, Bletchley.
After close of business on Sunday 21st July, Shed members delivered and installed a new, front-of-store, Community Notice Board and Food Donation Bin at the Tesco Extra store in Watling Street, Bletchley.
Constructed over a few weeks within Shed sessions down at Rickley Park, the finished product was finally all brought together and screwed/glued into place and handed over. It is fair to say that visitors to the store are not going to miss it, as eventually, more signage is going to appear on the board facing the car park and when available, the board will announce that it has been made by Men in Sheds West Bletchley.
After the disappointment of having the carnival cancelled due to the vagaries of the British weather, the Shed had a successful day with its stand at Tesco in Bletchley.
More recently, the Shed funds have been boosted by a further modest donation, the result of folk making purchases via the Easy Fundraising website. To recap, when sites are accessed through the Easy Fundraising portal and Men in Sheds West Bletchley is nominated as the recipient of the donation, a small percentage of the sale accrues to the Shed. If everyone who buys through Amazon, books their holiday via eBookers or indeed uses any of the many other donators, the Shed benefits. Please do consider accessing via this route as it is at no cost to yourself.
Using easyfundraising.org.uk to raise money for the Shed
Click on the YouTube video below to see just how easy it is to raise money for the Shed at no cost to yourself.
Waste Ink Cartridges.
The Shed is now collecting waste ink cartridges as a means of generating funds. If you replace your printer ink cartridge and just throw it out, please consider bringing it along to the Shed in Rickley Park. We collect them and when we have sufficient quantities, we send them off to a recycling company who pays the Shed. Wins all round!
A massive thank you is due to the regulars of the Newton Longville Free Church who raise money from coffee mornings. From the proceeds of these events, they have kindly donated a generous amount to the Shed to spend on materials. The Shed is currently in the process of building some large raised beds for Redway Special Needs School and therefore, some of this money will be used to purchase the timber needed for this project.
In addition, Walnuts School have asked the Shed to assist them by building a mud kitchen so again, money from this donation will fund the necessary materials.
New Year inevitably brings thoughts of warmer days to come, so why not get in early and order a planter to brighten up a corner of your garden. They are priced at around £20 and although a standard size, can always be made to your own specifications – all we need is the size width and depth you require.
Now that we are into the winter months, it is time to think about providing a place for nesting birds come the spring. Men in Sheds West Bletchley can build a box suitable for specific bird species to your garden at the reasonable price of £7.50. If interested, go to the “Contact us” page providing contact details.
Once again, thanks to the generosity of the local Tesco Extra store in Bletchley, the Shed were able to offer a number of seasonal items ideal for those last minute Christmas gifts. It proved a valuable fund-raiser for the Shed and we are very grateful for the continued support that we receive from Tesco’s Community Champion.
On Saturday 17th November, the Shed was surprised to learn that it had gained a runners-up place in the UK Men’s Shed Association, “Shed of the Year” Award.
The runners-up placement was in recognition of the work that the Shed has been undertaking for Redway School, a special needs school based at Netherfield in Milton Keynes. The Shed members have assisted the school by refurbishing teaching aids, making brand new mud kitchens, and indeed, continues to support the school wherever it can.
“Shed Fest” is an annual assembly of Men’s Sheds from across the UK and is organised by the UK Men’s Sheds Association; it provides the ideal opportunity to network, learn about new UKMSA initiatives and see demonstrations from various companies whose products are particularly tailored towards the needs of Men’s Sheds. This year, the event took place at the University of Worcester.
So far this month, Shed members have made a couple of trough planters suitable for those that live in a flat and have also been busy making various things suitable for Christmas gifts which will be on sale at West Bletchley Council’s “Christmas at Melrose” outside the Frank Moran Centre on Saturday 1st December, Why not come along and grab a bargain and help the Shed in the process?
Shed members visited Redway School on Friday 16th November to hand over a number of teaching aids that the lads have made. A4 in size, the aids are designed to enable the school to teach pupils with multiple disablements and abilities about woodland creatures. Here are a just a few of the many that the lads have made.
Now Shed thoughts have turned towards taking part in “Christmas at Melrose” which is put on and supported by West Bletchley Council. Featured at the event will be a hog roast, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Crafts and stalls, carols and children’s activities.
The Shed is now busy making festive Reindeer, and items for potential Christmas presents. So if you fancy treating somebody in your family to a new bird box, bird feeder, look out for the Men in Sheds West Bletchley stand where in addition to those items named, we will be returning with our popular eco-friendly seed trays for the gardeners in your family.
BBC Three Counties Radio Interview with Members of Dunstaple Shed
Click on the link for an interesting interview given by Richard and Terry, two members of the Dunstaple Shed on why being part of Shed life is so beneficial to them.
Earlier this year, the Shed Secretary, Paul Egerton, challenged his fellow Shedders to construct some garden planters for our own amusement in the shape of a steam engine using nothing more than a photograph to scale and come up with something realistic.
The picture below shows just what can be achieved using nothing more than an old rotten telegraph pole, scrap pallet wood, an old wooden bed leg and some ingenuity.
These are as we say, constructed purely for our own fun and have now been located in the gardens of Shed members. The trucks form the planter so hopefully come the spring, they will become a riot of colour when the daffodils, tulips and/or wallflowers that members have planted come into flower.
Not everything that the Shed does is for sale, and this project is a good case in point. The Shed exists primarily to provide companionship, have fun and do constructive things.