We were inspired by Gareth, Workshop Manager of Kessingland Men’s Shed, when he got in touch and told us about his story and the Kessingland Men’s Shed. We invited Gareth to write a blog to allow more people to be aware of what this fantastic community is about, what they do and how our donation has supported them.
Kessingland Men’s Shed recently received a very generous donation from Littlefair’s. Hundreds of pounds worth of wood dyes, wax polishes and their extra strong varnish have been added to the supplies at the Shed which is now up and running in the refurbished workshop on Bethel Drive, Kessingland.
Workshop Manager Gareth Lloyd said on receiving the donation:
“We are really grateful for these items from Littlefair’s as they particularly fit our ethos of working with environmentally friendly products. One of our aims is making sure valuable resources are not wasted; we do this by restoring and repurposing them. Thanks to this donation, we will be able to complete many future projects using reclaimed wood, taking the rough surface to a fine finished product.”
An example of a current project is the restoration of a homemade rocking horse. It has been in the same family for three generations and was looking sadly tired and worn out. Using Littlefair’s products the Kessingland Men’s Shed will be able to return it to its former glory and after it has been repaired and refinished it will then be donated to a local family.
Members of the Shed are also making flatpack kits for the charity Brainwave, for people with brain injuries to assemble. These include hedgehog houses, bug hotels and hanging mobiles. All of these flatpack kits will be coloured using Littlefair’s Water Based Wood Dyes and then finished using their Extra Strong Gloss Varnish or Water Repellent Wax Polish.
Gareth also said:
“We’re always on the lookout for projects which will benefit the community. For Christmas we made a Santa’s grotto in partnership with the Kessingland art group and parish council. One of the things we’re hoping to do this year is make something for the Jubilee celebrations and we are currently designing a seed swap box for the community garden.”
Another fantastic project that were completed by members of the Shed were an old stretch rack made for a theatre production of the Adam’s Family. The show is put together by Station Studios who are a charity group working with disabled people that suffer from things like Down syndrome etc.
On creating this project, Gareth said:
“It was an honour to be able to make this for them and hopefully they raise a ton of money.”
However, the Men’s Shed is about more than just simply making things, it’s about combatting social isolation and promoting wellbeing. Men (and women) are more than welcome to come down just for a chat and a cup of tea, and they often find that they end up with a paintbrush in hand, becoming involved with some of the many projects we have on the go.
The Kessingland Men’s Shed is involved with the East Suffolk Connected Community project which reaches out to older isolated people and connects them to organisations to make friends and gain a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. The Shed is open to anyone over eighteen years, whether they are able-bodied or have a disability, who want to socialise, learn new practical skills, complete DIY projects, and make use of the wealth of experience and advice from other members. They also plan to hold events and sessions for younger members of the community. The Shed is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 till 1pm.
If you’d like to visit The Men’s Shed, you’ll find us at the following address:
Bethel Drive, Kessingland, Lowestoft, NR33 7RY.
Gareth is a true inspiration and the Men’s Shed is a fantastic community. All the team at Littlefair’s appreciate Gareth for reaching out and allowing us to be a part of their journey.
If you know of a charity / community that has inspired you and you feel they could benefit from using our products, just like Gareth has at the Men's Shed then please contact us here with your recommendations and let us know why!