Congratulations to Axminster Community Shed who have received a major award for their ‘outstanding’ contribution to the local community.
Formed only a matter of months ago, the Shed received the East Devon AONB’s coveted Acland Award at the organisations’s annual general meeting at Froginwell Vineyard at Woodbury Salterton. The award celebrates community projects that have received funding from the AONB Communities Project Fund (CPF) and ‘gone on to manifest exemplary outcomes for nature, wildlife, people, and place’.
The pandemic made it impossible for the AONB to hold an award ceremony over the past two years, so this year’s nominations were drawn from both 2019 – 2020 and 2021 – 2022. The AONB team commented that the four shortlisted projects ‘absolutely shone.’ Also in the running were the Kilmington Community Action Group, Seaton Tramway and the Stoney Orchard Growing Community.
The award citation highlighted the Community Shed’s ‘open to all’ status and its ambition to create a place where members can enjoy new friendships and a safe space they may be lacking, while gaining the satisfaction of contributing to their community and potentially learning new skills.
Launched only in February of this year, the Shed ‘progressed quickly in helping to satisfy an urgent social need’, with a Communities Project Fund grant making it possible to invest in new woodworking machinery from Axminster Tools at a specially discounted price.
Following a successful recruitment campaign – it now has over 40 members – the group holds regular wood-turning and wood carving sessions, with more classes and hobby groups planned.
The group has supported the community via a series of socially beneficial projects including a school wildlife garden, refurbishing an outdoor classroom, restoring wooden candle sticks for the Minster Church and running vocational woodwork sessions at Axminster Community Primary Academy. Well-being and mental health are key to the group’s mission with training sessions for members and client referrals from local NHS mental health teams.