The word SHED for most people conjures up the image of a wooden building in the garden for keeping your gardening equipment in, but not here in Folkestone.
Here in Folkestone there is a different type of SHED. This one is a location for ex-military personnel and their families to get peer support, advice and learn new skills. Mark Connorton from our office helped organise the setting up and running of the project.
With the SHED project the aim is to bring these ex-service personal together with like-minded people to give support and understanding that they may not get from other areas of their life; it has been found that the only people who really understand what it’s like to live with these issues are people who have suffered them.
One of the many real issues for some ex-service personal is that they join up straight after leaving school, having never needed to pay council tax, worry about bills or learn how to budget; everyday life can be quite difficult when they are medically discharged. We have had some people give up their time and come and talk to them about these things but would love to be able to teach practical skills as well.
Two groups are run, one on Mondays 10:00-1:00 and Fridays 10:00-1:00
Monday’s group mainly do wood work. They have successfully made and sold a bird table/house and have been commissioned for two more along with commissions for a sewing machine table and a sensory light box. All the money they make goes back into the project to help with running costs and tools or materials.
Skill levels range from experienced carpentry to having never made a thing in their life. One of the guys said: “It’s nice to be able take a plain piece of wood and create something.” Some people don’t take part in making anything, they just like to go for a cuppa and a chat.
The Shedders, as they are commonly known, are also looking at upcycling old pieces of furniture.
At the moment all the wood that they use is recycled and has been donated to the project. They are currently in need of bamboo as they would like to make insect homes. If you have any bamboo or other materials that you would like to donate or if there is a piece of furniture that you would like made or given a makeover please call the office on 01303 259 007 and ask for Mark.
Friday’s group is made up from the Gurkha veterans in our community who mainly enjoy playing games and socialising.
Have a look a the shed’s facebook page.