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All pages and materials herein © Henfield Shed 2017-2019 except as otherwise acknowledged, Website Design by Richard Lelliott, last updated 07 May 2019


The purpose of The Henfield Shed is to provide a place in the community where people can come together to pursue practical individual or community interests, share resources and skill-share (such as woodwork, metalwork and making or mending a range of items), in an informal friendly environment.

We aim to develop a place where we can achieve, and share skills, and this will provide social interaction in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

 

 


Since a team of four local residents was formed to drive the project forwards, the development of the Shed has gathered pace and thanks to the generosity of the owner we now had use of the garage at the back of Stokes Newsagents in the High Street for 12 months and we're pleased to report that the Henfield Shed is very much open. We used the garage while we sought a permanent home in the village.  The founding Trustees and some very keen Shedders put in a lot of effort fitting out and equipping the shed for action - but we’ve moved - see below.

The Henfield Shed was now fitted out and donations of tools were used to help us with this.

Regular meetings started and the first projects were under way…

 


The Henfield Shed started as an initiative by a small group of local people who believed that a Shed and the concept of Shedding would be good for Henfield. Henfield Community Partnership was tasked (or perhaps tasked themselves) with setting up exploratory meetings, and putting the word out that the initiative was being considered, asking for interested people to attend a first meeting. This was held at Henfield Village Hall on the 4th April 2017.

A diverse group of some dozen or so men and several women attended. One of the men had been in the Men's Shed Movement in Australia, where the whole idea began. He had been active there and was willing to help with ‘our’ shed. Leading lights from other local Sheds, including Lancing and Burgess Hill, told of their formation and current status. The tantalising possibility of ‘startup’ local premises and some ‘seed’ funding from the Council was mentioned… Enough enthusiasm existed to hold the next meeting!

On the 2nd May a second meeting was held in Henfield Club, and a small group of attendees agreed to form a ‘Steering Group’ to develop the concept further, check out the offer of premises, visit other local Sheds, and if possible create the basis for The Henfield Shed! Colin Ansell, Zena Cairns, Pete Gumbrell and Richard Lelliott started to meet regularly to divide up the tasks and make the concept a reality.

The hard work began. Creating any small not-for-profit organisation, such as a club, is fraught with difficulty and red tape nowadays. Once it was realised that we’d have to form a charity, registered with the Charity Commission, in order to attract the funding necessary, the reality of the magnitude of the task started to become apparent. We forged ahead, though. We are from Sussex, after all, and ‘won’t be druv’!

We became part of the West Sussex Community Sheds programme, which looks to build on the success of the Global Sheds movement, enabling and supporting the setting up and establishment of local sheds across the county - in particular those aiming to involver older people who may be experiencing loneliness and whose health and well being could be improved through connecting with their locally organised Shed activity and peer support.


One by one the issues surrounding the creation of The Henfield Shed started to resolve, and by September enough work had been done, despite holidays and other pressures, to submit our application to the Charity Commissioners… which happened on the 8th September 2017. We were advised not to hold our breath…

Good advice in the circumstances, but in the event there were only a couple of rounds of queries on detail in the Constitution, the key document which outlines everything from objectives and purposes to key policies, for charity status. Quick responses were given after due consideration by the Trustees, and our Registered Charity Number 1175261 was granted on 20th October 2017.

The Founding Trustees and some keen Shedders started work on fitting out and equipping our shed for action. Work was also ongoing on all the necessary policies, procedures and practices to ensure we could live up to the aspirations of our constitution, while doing our very best to give The Henfield Shed the start it deserved.  The idea was that this would free up the Shedders themselves to take the project where they want it to go.


Visits to Horsham, Burgess Hill and Lancing sheds only served to sharpen our determination to make progress. Local publicity, aided by our wonderful local monthly, BN5, saw the first donations of equipment, although as yet we had nowhere to store it! We were also donated a simple 6 foot by 4 foot shed (as long as we collected it from a garden!). This gave us the idea of using it for publicity, and led to its use at the Henfield Fayre on the common in June - shame it rained a bit! We had another 14 potential members despite the rain though.

How has The Henfield Shed evolved from a concept to a real living community workshop?

Almost exactly a year on and the shed has moved to new premises, behind ‘Southdown Galleries’ in the High Street, and this much larger area is starting to be used to full effect.