Thanks to the generosity of the owners of Stokes Newsagents in the village who offered us their garage as a shed, we were able to open our shed in October 2017.
At the second meeting 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. It took five months for us to form a charity and gain Charity Commission registration. The Shed was formed as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), in order to attract the funding necessary to move the Shed forward. Our Registered Charity Number 1175261 was granted on 20th October 2017.
Along with opening our bank account, we became part of the West Sussex Community Sheds programme, which built on the success of the global Sheds movement, enabling and supporting the setting up and establishment of local sheds across the county - particularly aimed at 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.
How has The Henfield Shed evolved from a concept to a real living community workshop?
Almost exactly a year on and the shed moved to new premises, behind ‘Southdown Galleries’ in the High Street, where we are still situated to this day.
The Henfield Shed was started 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 set up exploratory meetings, asking for interested people to attend a first meeting. A diverse group of some dozen or so men and several women attended the first meeting and enough enthusiasm existed to hold the next meeting!