It’s been a while since the Men’s Shed last met, but the management team have simply been busy trying to sort premises and it is taking longer than we hoped. However, now we have news and think/ hope it’s very good news!
As you are aware, we have been negotiating with East Hampshire District Council regarding the possibility of us taking on 16 Heath Road, Petersfield as our first Shed. The good news is we have a draft licence from the Council which the management team has reviewed, discussed and with a few minor amendments is happy to agree. The licence offers us the whole premises including the two sheds, all the gardens and grounds and the house itself.
In connection with the licence negotiations, the management team has also progressed a grant application to the Council for funds to make the sheds, grounds, and house secure with new locks, door, and windows, and safely powered with electrics.
On the assumption that a licence is signed, and we gain the necessary grant funding, the hard work to become operational begins now which will involve every member. This will include;
- Identify a team of member key holders and safety officers to “manage” the site whist members are on-site.
- Identify a tools manager.
- Agreeing the designation of all areas/ buildings/ rooms for our various activities, this may be in stages and change over time.
- Establishing what work needs doing and its priorities.
- Creating working parties to carry out the work based on everyone’s individual skills.
- Establish, agree, and purchase the initial tools/ equipment/ benching to get started.
- Agree our “Shed Open” annual membership fee.
- Investigate commercial sponsorship and local donations for on-going funds/ tools/ equipment/ wood/ anything useful.
- Promote the Shed membership to increase numbers.
- Finalise the operational budget.
Knowing how long final negotiations can take, we propose a whole Membership Meeting on Wednesday 5th October at 2pm either at 16 Heath Road or either the Townhouse on the High Street or the Half Moon pub in Sheet (to be confirmed later). The purpose of this meeting will be to provide further updates and to discuss, agree and confirm volunteers to work on and complete the elements above. I urge you to make every effort to attend this meeting and also start to consider how you can best support some of the actions above.
We have been working for this for over two years and finally, it may well happen. This is our Shed, jointly we can make it the best Shed.