The FOREST Community Shed opened it permanent new haome at the Orchard Trust ian Lydbrook this week.
The “Shed”, a voluntary organisation which provides a workshop for crafts including woodwork, officially opened its new premises on the seven acre site on Wednesday (August 2).
New chairman Mr Sam Phillips thanked the Orchard Trust for allowing them use of the site.
He said: “I’d like to thank the Orchard Trust, specifically Bianca (Bertalot, the manager).
They rescued us in our hour of need.
“We needed a new home and after many failed venues over five years or so, we eventually came to Orchard Trust.
“We recognise how we can work together in an exciting social partnership.
“We believe we are like-minded organisations who together can provide adults of all abilities, the elderly and those who are isolated, the opportunity to get out of the house and be in a safe, secure and friendly environment.
“We’ve enjoyed the last couple of months setting up and enjoying the lovely surroundings, the peace and quiet and friendly staff and now we can look forward to a secure and sustainable future.”
Members of the shed presented the Trust withh a bluebird plaque they had made.
Mr Phillips said it was “a token of joy and hope”.
He said the Shed had received funding from the Forest Council’s Community Grants Scheme, Gloucestershire County Council’s Forest Council community grants, Gloucestershire County Council Thriving Community and Covid Quick Response grants and Levelling Up Fund, West Dean Parish Council, National Lottery Community Fund, Co-op Community Fund, Tesco Bags of Help and Gloucestershire Freemasons.
He added: “Without these we wouldn’t be here today. Thank you from all the shedders
We’ve done really good things in the last five years and I’m sure we will continue to do so.”
He also said that working from home produced its own kind of loneliness for people “so the need for something like this organisation is going to get greater as the years go by.
“We’ve done really good things in the last five years and I’m sure we will continue to do so.”
Cllr Sid Phelps, the Forest district councillor for Lydbrook, said the amount of funding the Shed had secured was “a testament to what a good project it is.”
Cllr Adrian Birch (Green, Tidenham), the district council’s Cabinet member for communities said he hoped the Shed would “make a real go of it” at the Orchard Trust site.
He added: “Anything that can help people overcome loneliness in a supportive and productive way will only be successful.”
In a statement, the leader of Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne (Con, Quedgeley) said: “I am thrilled that we have been able to award Forest Community Shed £25,000 from the county council’s £1.5 million Levelling Up Together Fund.
“This fund is facilitating 52 grants enabling a number of locally led projects countywide to deliver essential support to improve the wellbeing of residents.”
The Shed is currently open on Wednesdays and Thursdays bettween 10am and 3pm.
For more information visit mensshedwhitecroft.wixsite.com or the Forest Community Shed Facebook page.