Running support for Men in Sheds Bedford

Joe Green from the University of Bedfordshire student has recently raised £1818 for Men in Sheds Bedford demonstrating how helping others in the community can have great effects. 

In order to raise the money Joe ran 48 miles over two days, tackling four miles every four hours. Joe originally planned to raise £700 but continued well over this amount. 

Joe wanted to raise the money for the Shed after meeting one of its members at a Community Exercise Clinic run by the University at its Bedford campus, where Joe was working as part of his course. The money will help with the renovation of an old building the charity has acquired from the council. The renovation will include a coffee break room, an IT suite for teaching digital skills and a DIY room. 

Joe recently appeared in an article about his challenge for News Anyway, in Bedford, and said this. 

I’ve always spoken openly about my struggles with my own mental health over the last few years and I’d probably go as far as saying running saved my life; it has always given me a sense of freedom, a distraction and a sense of euphoria – it’s been a massive help. 

I was always looking for another challenge after my first solo marathon and another opportunity to raise money and I knew straight away that this mental health and social wellbeing charity was the one I wanted to raise money for. 

I’ve been down to the Men in Sheds charity location twice now and I’ve seen the amazing work they are doing there and I’ve also been sent some personal accounts from people who go to Men in Sheds and the positive affect it has had on their lives.

Fraser fromMen in Sheds Bedford, with Joe Green

Fraser Young, Men in Sheds’ Management Committee member who introduced Joe to the charity, added

Men In Sheds Bedford’s strategic focus over the last 18 months has been to raise money to refurbish and repurpose disused storage facilities into a new functional flexible facility designed to engage members, expand our Shed offering and alleviate social isolation, improve members interactions and improve mental well-being. We are due to start using the facilities later this year after many hours hard work and will continue to develop the facilities as further funds allow. The mental health of our members is a key priority and we aspire to be a progressive inclusive community facility.  

On behalf of Bedford’s Men in Sheds community, I’d like to express just how humbled and grateful we are to Joe for his selfless support in helping us raise vital new funds to assist in the repurposing and refurbishment of disused store rooms into a new craft area.

Fraser and the members of Men In Sheds Bedford want to promote mental well being and mutual support through their Shed. When asked why he thought Men’s Sheds were needed, Fraser said

We believe Men in Sheds provides an invaluable space for men to meet, socialise and share experiences together, fostering friendship and giving members another rewarding purpose to their lives.  

Our members are encouraged to share their practical skills with other members and learn from fellow members in a safe environment, often resolving complex challenges working shoulder to shoulder. 

We’ve had some success with some one-to-one outreach activity sessions for people living with dementia, where we’ve found clients, members and carers benefit from the experience. 

A space to meet and share sociable banter as well as more personal experiences is further enhanced by the use of WhatsApp chat groups to keep in touch and help reduce social isolation which in turn improves members mental health.” 

Thank you plaque for Joe made by Men in Sheds Bedford

A Splash and Dash

UK Men’s Sheds would like to say a big thank you to Alison Farthing, who challenged herself to complete a ‘Splash and Dash’ in February 2022 in memory of her younger brother, Steve, raising sponsorship for UK Men’s Sheds. Alison’s challenge involved her either running 5k around her local village, or swimming a mile in her local open pool every single day throughout February this year.

Alison celebrating 28 days of her ‘Splash and Dash’

Alison said “I wasn’t looking forward to the start of February. My brother died the day before his birthday in February 2021, and I wanted to do something in his memory, for an organisation that might have benefitted someone like him. I remember Steve as a tall, kind, very generous kid-brother who always allowed me to play with him. He was sporty –a badminton player, and always loved weird science stuff that would go over my head.

Alison with her brother, Steve

Sadly through a combination of family losses, life events, a stressful job and poor choices around alcohol, Steve became isolated from his family and friends. He wasn’t good at asking for help and poor health compounded by Covid restrictions led to his premature death at just 53. When looking for who to raise money for, I came across UK Men’s Sheds and saw that Sheds are safe spaces where men can open up over a cup of tea if they want to, or just build something, which can also help. Perhaps a Shed would have helped by brother through some tough times.

My challenge included 4 park runs. “I loved the fresh air and feeling fitter each day (though I ruined my running shoes and had to invest in new ones!!). I also supported the local outdoor swimming pool and cafe by going 3 times a week then eating cakes and breakfasts afterwards.”

Alison ran an impressive 60 miles, and swam 10 throughout February, sometimes on her own, but often with support of friends and others in her community. UK Men’s Sheds would like to thank her for raising an impressive £2,050 to support the work of UK Men’s Sheds. Her fundraising page is still open at gofund.me/f86cd600 if others would still like to donate.

One simple way to boost your funds in 2022

What are your fundraising goals this year? A new project, improved facilities, more equipment and supplies? Whatever you are aiming for, make sure easyfundraising is a part of your strategy easyfundraising enables you and your supporters to raise free donations towards your campaign target simply by shopping online with leading retailers

Free to register and use, signing up to easyfundraising is a great way to create a continuous stream of donations, which complements your other fundraising activities.

So, what shops can we earn free funding from? 

There are over 6,000 online retailers who will donate, including everyday favourites like Amazon, Sainsbury’s, Boots, and Holland and Barrett , DIY and home improvement retailers such as B&Q, Dunelm, Homebase, Wickes, Argos, department stores like John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams, and House of Fraser, and your Shed can even get free funding from the likes of TUI, Thomas Cook, lastminute.com, Compare the Market, NOW, SKY, Virgin Media, and many, many more. 

Now more than ever, your Shed community is shopping online, and all they need to do to raise donations for your campaign is to go through the easyfundraising website or app before they shop online as usual.   

Why we think you should give it a try:

  • It’s free and easy to use for you and your shedders.  
  • A continuous stream of income: No matter what is going on with the world, you can fundraise all through the year.
  • Complements existing activities: You can continue your existing fundraising activities, while easyfundraising helps you earn extra money in the background.
  • You are never alone: easyfundraising has a wealth of content and materials to educate, engage and motivate your supporters. From social media posts, WhatsApp messages, posters, flyers, toolkits, and images, you will have it all at your fingertips.

We’re ready to get started – what now? 

Register your Shed with easyfundraising – it only takes a couple of minutes. Then, book your free 15-minute support call with one of the easyfundraising team who will give you a demo of the site, answer any questions, and will share advice on how to raise as much as possible, this year. 

Free Fundraising Webinar for Sheds.

You’re invited to our 2021 fundraising webinar

During these changing times, easyfundraising is a pandemic proof fundraising option for your Shed. Head over to their free webinar on Friday January 29th at 2.00pm to find out how it works, see a live demo, get advice on how to sign up and ask the easyfundraising team questions. If you’ve been before they are sharing some new info that will be useful.

It’s free to attend plus there’s a prize draw with a chance to win £25 for your Shed. More than one member can attend so please spread the word to other Shedders too!

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_z928-sTJSA-plNobE5My9g

If your Shed isn’t using the service yet sign up here: http://efraising.org/awfl0KjNEr

Bernard Sunley Foundation Community Centre Grant

Has the lockdown put paid to the great plans you had for your Men’s Shed? Good news is there’s support to get things back up and running!

The Bernard Sunley Foundation awards grants for the building or refurbishment of scout huts, village halls, community centres, youth clubs, boxing clubs, outdoor activity centres, farm and outdoor learning centres, sports centres and pavilions, playing fields and playgrounds. They also fund the purchase of new minibuses that assist those most in need in their local communities.

Visit their website for more http://www.bernardsunley.org/categories/community

Please be advised Bernard Sunley Foundation only support registered charities.

Not sure where to begin getting your Shed charitable status?
Sign up for a UK Men’s Sheds Membership and we’ll help you with this and more! Phone: 0300 772 9626 or Email: admin@ukmsa.org.uk

Projects and Fundraising: Liss Shed

It was the third week of July in 2019. A public meeting was held to see if there was any interest starting a Men’s Shed for Liss and District. Amazingly twenty six enthusiastic people attended, it was really something to behold! By September a committee was formed, followed by launch of the project at the village Christmas Fair in early December.

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