Cotswold Community Men’s Shed has been running for several years now. After occupying various locations in Wotton under Edge and Kingswood, we are now firmly settled in the old Berkeley Power Station complex.
We have 20 active members and meet for three sessions a week. We have skills in our members ranging from woodwork, metalwork, plastics electronics and model making.
Like many other Sheds, we are keen on rescuing and repurposing a range of materials from pallets to old furniture. In fact, anything discarded we will try to re-use.
Over the last 4 years, we have had a close bond with Legs4Africa, a registered charity based in Bristol in the UK.
The charity was founded in 2013 by Tom Williams after his trip to The Gambia. Tom was introduced to a gentleman who needed a prosthetic leg urgently, and his search began.
Once back in the UK, Tom was able to successfully source a leg for Paul. In the process, he discovered that access to affordable prosthetic legs was a problem faced by over a million people with limb differences on the African continent.
Since then, Legs4Africa has sent enough prosthetic leg parts to build or repair over 10,000 limbs – working with hospitals in the UK, the USA, Canada, France and Australia, with further opportunities arising across Europe.
The charity collects used prosthetic legs, which under current European Union law, cannot be re-used in the United Kingdom
It’s at this stage that Cotswold Community Men’s Shed comes into the process. We take the used prosthetic legs and break them down into parts that can be re-used in the manufacture of new prosthetics.
These are then delivered to Tom Williams for packaging and shipping to African countries such as The Gambia, Ghana and Uganda, where they can be modified for, and used by, people with limb differences.
Our main “leg man” Dave Mansell was recently awarded a “Golden Leg” pin for his extensive work for Legs4Africa, becoming only the 5th Golden badge ever given, for the work he has already done and is still doing, for this well worthwhile charity – Tom Chatting