Making things and making friends

This sums up the purpose of Horsforth Shed and those taking part would agree.

“After graduating from University, I was seeking employment in a difficult job market due to the corona virus outbreak. It was demoralising as I had many job applications rejected. I found working at the Shed both purposeful and enjoyable and learnt some new skills. It was good to work alongside others. I was very pleased to finally secure employment, but I look back on my time there very positively.”

“I think the Shed is an amazing place… Richard & Peter & other supporters willingly share knowledge and time to people like myself who really do need it.”

“The Horsforth Shed has been a great find for me, offering a chance to have some creative time whilst being therapeutic and a way to ease the anxiety experienced following the problems and events of the last few years.”

Horsforth Shed has been operating as a community workshop since mid-2021. Community workshops are spaces for people to connect, converse and create. The activities are often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of people to enjoy together. Typically, it’s a bit of woodwork or metalwork using the appropriate tools in a safe environment. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge, and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. They can help reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness, they allow people to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities, and, in some cases, they can save people’s lives.

What we do

We aim to serve the needs of our community by offering workshop-based activities to help people get together and learn new skills in a supportive environment. There is well-equipped workshop with experienced staff together with a social area for refreshments where folk can get to know each other over a cup of tea or coffee.

Presently we regularly offer access through various types of activities:

  • Drop-in sessions. Operating on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1.15-3.15pm we offer an open door to anyone interested in participating. It may be to learn new skills, complete a particular project or to meet up with others. There are no set fees, we operate on a voluntary contribution basis.
  • School student support. On four mornings per week, we offer workshop-based activities for students who are in schools that offer specialist provision but lack their own workshops.
  • Engagement focussed on particular groups. Since opening we have worked in partnership with Lighthouse (West Yorkshire), a charity based at St George’s Crypt in Leeds supporting those ‘battered and bruised by the storms of life’
  • Specialist support for young people facing various challenges. These operate in liaison with other to give young people focussed tasks to develop their skills and competences.

In addition, from time to time we run short courses ranging from activities with Cubs and Brownie groups, sketching and watercolour classes to woodwork night school sessions.

You can donate to support the work of Horsforth Shed at https://lovegiving.co.uk/horsforthshed

Who we are

Staff. We employ Richard as Shed Manager for two and a half days per week and also have the support of a group of volunteer Shed Supervisors to lead sessions. These  includes four ex-High School Design & Technology Teachers as well as others with skills in this field. . All members of the team are personable, inclusive, encouraging practitioners who are experienced in working with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds.

As an organisation we have charitable status with trustees to oversee the operation of the Shed and a Treasurer to manage our own accounts. In compliance with charity law our accounts have been externally examined and reported to the Charity Commission. Our report for last year can be seen at https://register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/sector-data/top-10-charities/-/charity-details/5139150