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Patron’s Corner August 2021

Hello everyone! I would like to start by saying that all of us here at Team Fisher hope you are staying happy and creative. Being able to get out and about a bit more is wonderful and long may it continue! 

Just a few days ago, Nicola, Bamber and I and a film crew descended on the Men’s Shed at Swanwick, here in Derbyshire. It was part of a film being made about me. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you more than that as Nicola and I have signed a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). We are bound to secrecy! But, hopefully, you will all find out in a few months what it was all about!

The turnout at Swanwick was amazing and thank you to everyone who attended. We finally got to meet Leo in person, at last. For those of you who don’t know, Leo is in charge of Communications and Social Media for Men’s Sheds and is such a warm and charming man.  

Charlie Bethel ‘flew’ in from Scunthorpe to attend. He left his wife and kids for a few hours to take part and was instrumental in coordinating UK Men’s Sheds and the production crew.

Another Charlie, Charlie Parkes, Swanwick’s Shed Ambassador, was there. Another true gentleman and an asset to the charity. We’ve been invited back to Swanwick and will definitely take Charlie up on his offer. 

Sticking with film and telly work, a BBC2 documentary called Blind Ambition has just aired. It went out on BBC2 on 1st August. It featured me and some other blind artists. I won’t spoil it for you, just in case you want to watch it – it’s now available on iPlayer. Filmed just after Easter, it was a great experience. 

I” am going to be featured on the BBC 1 show ‘Money for Nothing’ as a guest artisan”

If that wasn’t enough, I’m going to be featured on the BBC1 show Money for Nothing as a guest artisan. The show centres around objects that were about to be discarded at city recycling centres.

‘Junk’ is intercepted by the producers and given to an artist to breathe new life into it. When finished, the piece is sold and the guest member of the public receives the profits. 

I am going to backtrack a little now and talk about my presentation at Swanwick Men’s Shed. The format was a bit of turning but with the emphasis on talking.

I always try to share my story with the audience but, on this particular occasion, I went into more details. Primarily because, as we all know, the UK Men’s Sheds Association helps promote good mental health and is there a lifeline for many of its members. 

“I always try to share my story”

I mentioned the importance of just talking and confiding in our friends. We have to know that is it okay to let others know that we may not be coping particularly well and we may need some help and advice. At the very least, just a friend who can sit and listen.

As soon as we offload, the work can start on beginning to feel a little better. Depression and anxiety are no joke, neither are people and families dealing with the stresses and sadness associated with Dementia, Alzheimers and other similar degenerative conditions.

For many reasons we can feel lonely, isolated and detached from what we used to know and love. It’s never an easy process, but there can be and, indeed there is, hope and an outstretched hand offering warmth, love and positivity.

Remember to notice the signs. Poor appetite, melancholy and fatigue. These are just a few examples that we are struggling to cope mentally. Remember you are not ever truly alone. 

Keep on turning! 

Chris Fisher RPT