A FLEDGLING community project that received almost £1,000 seed funding from Newton Abbot Town Council is going from strength to strength, organisers have said.
Newton Abbot Community Shed members have met each Friday morning in the former pottery studio at Newton Abbot Library for almost three months.
Working to a philosophy of ‘making, mending, meeting’, the group repair and maintain household items and create goods to sell such as bird boxes and key cabinets.
The ‘Shedders’ have also been asked to assist with a major railway exhibition at the library and commissioned to create a ‘pop-up’ bistro table meeting space on the stump of a felled tree in Courtenay Street.
There are plans to have them help with other problem trees in the town centre while a fundraising motorbike trip from Lands End to John O’Groats is on the cards.
Last Wednesday management committee members Tim Faulkner and Peter Stevens gave members of Newton Abbot Town Council a presentation entitled ‘Our First 75 days’.
Thanking councillors for their funding, they reported that the Community Shed was working towards charitable status and that it was welcoming an increasing number of adult men and women, offering companionship and a safe place for skills sharing and opportunities to talk about quality of life issues.
‘The key word is inclusion,’ Peter Stevens told the meeting, adding that the project might be unique in combining both the Men’s Shed and Repair Cafe models.
Although very grateful for its location within the library, the Community Shed board hopes to find a bigger and permanent home elsewhere in town, open five days a week.
Making reference to a model boat made by one member, Tim Faulkner said: ‘One day I’d quite like someone to come in and build a full size Mirror Dinghy, we want it to be pretty much limitless what people can do.’
Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker congratulated the group on its achievements and said: ‘Your presence in our town is already highly valued and we look forward to you realising the full potential of this wonderful initiative.
‘A truly supportive environment for adults of any gender that not only develops people’s skills but does so for the benefit of the community has to be welcomed and encouraged.’
The Community Shed operates 9.30am-12.30pm each Friday with Saturday sessions also planned.