As I write this contribution, my first since being named as Patron for UK Men’s Sheds Association, the Midlands Woodworking Show at Newark and Makers Central, as well as several other events, have been postponed until later in the year, due to coronavirus. It is a wise precaution and at least the weather might have warmed up by the time the events are rescheduled!
My calendar for this year was pretty full – my engagements up to June have also been postponed.
I shall look forward to meeting new people from all around the country again later in the year. I find being on stage a lot of fun and the energy you feel with an engaging audience can be intoxicating.
I can speak with complete honesty as to the importance of getting into a shed, garage or workshop as therapy. My four year battle with anxiety, after going blind, was hell. I suffered with panic attacks, muscle spasms, nausea and hallucinations. I suppose I am trying to say that I didn’t give up and, as I began to come through the other side, I was chomping at the bit to take on a new challenge. This, as you probably know, was woodturning! My life has been changed for the better, forever, because of it.
The work of the UK Men’s Sheds Association cannot be underestimated. We have the ability to change, even save lives within our communities. Having access to workshops and sheds within our towns and cities is a game-changer. We have the opportunity to meet new friends, learn new skills or even rekindle a passion for something we may not have been able to do for many years.
We all have to deal with change – it is one of life’s constants – but we needn’t go down without a fight! Making things allows us to engage our minds and bodies. We can escape for a few hours and focus on our projects. I can testify that when I am turning or working through plans in my mind, nothing else matters.
Being a ‘Maker’, ‘Tinkerer’ and all things Shed-related, can give our lives real purpose. We can all achieve truly amazing things regardless of age or even disability. With tenacity, confidence, self-belief and a huge dollop of passion, we can all take our lives to places we thought were impossible to reach.
Stay safe and keep on turning! https://bit.ly/2UNhIcs
by Chris Fisher RPT – UK Men’s Sheds Association Patron