As we say goodbye to 2020, it is easy to say that we will be getting more of the same, and so far this is true when it comes to Lockdowns. There has been terrible loss of life, mental and physical health challenges and untold impact on the future for social connections on which Sheds and we all thrive…
But despite all this darkness Sheds and the people in Sheds have shone. Last year I was humbled by the passion and care that Shedders showed to one another.
Returning from the Christmas and New Year break, challenges for many people came to the forefront again; but despite this adversity there has been a tremendous amount of light and hope. Shedders have continued to stay in contact with each other, Sheds that have activity continuing are still making a huge impact on their communities and many have turned their time to helping others with vaccination centres and food banks where it is safe to do so.
Toward the end of the year Mike Jenn, the founder of UK Men’s Sheds Association shared with me the phrase ‘We are adding years to life and life to years’, and despite the restrictions Sheds are still doing this. As we continue to find our way with the hope of a vaccination and the return to the old normal, (or a new normal) the power of the Shed movement will once again thrive and change the lives of thousands of men and women. Projects for the community, schools and charities will come back to life and we will certainly see a greater demand for Sheds.
‘We are adding years to life and life to years’
We will use the lessons of successive restrictions and Lockdowns to increase our reach and engagement with Shedders as we move forward. We will look to bring more people together with events such as quizzes and increase our content online from videos to help Shedders to presentations that support the running of Sheds.
The Shed movement has been remarkable in 2020, together we can brush off the cobwebs and focus on a better 2021 and get back to the workshops as soon as it is safe to do so.
So as we start the year, thank you to everyone in the movement, across our Sheds, volunteers, ambassadors and partners for staying with Men’s Sheds, for supporting each other and making things happen. Thank you for everything you will do to support the continued growth of the Men’s Shed movement in the United Kingdom.
Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you soon,
Charlie Bethel – UK Men’s Sheds Association Chief Officer.