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SLaMS Hub Shed at Burrowbridge now open

The Hub Shed at Burrowbridge now opens official! The hub workshop, run by SLaMS at the Somerset Levels Basket and Craft Centre on the A361, near Burrowbridge was officially opened yesterday, Friday, Jan 29th by Anne Oxley, newly appointed Director of Services for the UK Men’s Shed Association. SLaMS, Somerset Levels and Moors Sheds.

The building has been empty since it was flooded in 2014. In conjunction with the owners, SLaMS has undertaken to refurbish a section of the building and will base itself at the premises for the next couple of years, while establishing a network of satellite Sheds in  surrounding rural communities. Chairman, Ivor Dixon, said ‘It’s been a year of very hard work for the steering committee, but we have made tremendous progress, thanks in no small way to the support of individuals and the local community. We have had some very generous donations of tools and materials, which will make our limited budget go a lot further. With the funding we have already secured, it has given us the confidence to move forward quickly.’

shed op col

Pictured from the left Colin Gorton (Vice Chair of SLaMS) receives a cheque from Councillor Richard Brown and Councillor David Fothergill with SLaMS Committee Member William Salmon looking on approvingly.

Men’s Sheds activities include simple DIY woodwork and other hobbies, with men working ‘Shoulder to shoulder’. Each Shed sets its own programme, driven by the members themselves – SLaMS’ motto is ‘It’s YOUR shed!.

The Shed is a hub and house for their projects and a workshop too. It provides a social space where men can meet and chat together over a cup of tea. They will now need volunteers to help with the continuing refurbishment of the building and to train as Duty Managers, to supervise activities in the Shed.

Now that the Shed is open, they are actively recruiting members and there has been a lot of interest across a wide area, from individuals and also from charities and statutory bodies working with older men. Members may work on their own project, or consider doing projects suggested by the local community. Some come along just for a chat, and it is often their one rare chance to socialise.

SLaMS has secured grants from flood funds administered by Somerset Community Foundation, Somerset County Councillors Health and Wellbeing funds (through councillors David Fothergill and Richard Brown), and the Tudor Trust. This is sufficient to allow it to open and to cover its core costs into its second year. It expects to generate a significant part of its income from sale of products made by members and from recycling. Members contribute a suggested donation of £3 per session to cover the day to day running costs, but the first two sessions are free. The Shed is now  ‘open for business’ each Tuesday from  9.30am to 12.30 and Thursday from 1.30pm to 4.30.

Anyone interested in finding out more, contact Ivor Dixon on 01458 250603 or email levelopps@gmail.com.

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