It’s funny, when my Wife suggested I take a look at going to the Shed I simply dismissed it, basically because she suggested it. What did she know? I was 18 months into what would be a life changing condition called ‘Complex Regional Pain Syndrome’ brought on following a simple surgery. What I didn’t realise was that my wife was worried about my state of mind. My moods were awful; I spent long periods of time alone with my thoughts and my pain. The good thing was that my wife didn’t let me fob her off, she kept on at me and eventually I sent Allan Walker an email. Unfortunately I didn’t bank on Allan being so quick in response and before I knew it I was booked in to go down to the Shed to see what it was all about and to meet Allan and a few of the other ‘Shedders’.
This is when the gremlins started to take over or as I like to call him ‘Little Dave’. Now ‘Little Dave’ knows everything and is never wrong, always telling me why not to do something and that most things are a bad idea. What I hadn’t factored in was the ‘Little Dave’ had become quite a powerful gremlin. I cancelled on Allan. In fact, I cancelled on Allan a number of times and simply left things until a few months later my wife asked me again. By this time she was fed up with me sitting around doing nothing along with being even more worried about my mood and wellbeing. This time she wasn’t just leaving it to me and she made sure that I made contact again and physically went to see Allan and the ‘Shed’.
So Little Dave was telling me that I wouldn’t fit in and that I knew nothing. However the voice of Little Dave was soon drowned out. The buzz of the place was great, a few Shedders were sitting around telling stories over a biscuit and a cuppa whilst others were making a mud kitchen for a local play group. I decided to get stuck in and started sanding down the kitchen - it was one thing I could do with one hand. The rest, as they say, is history.
I am now responsible for all things social media and Website driven. I soon managed to find something I could do despite my disability. As I couldn’t drive a couple of the guys offered me lifts to and from the Shed - amazing! There is no way I could have continued to attend so regularly otherwise.
The biggest thing I hadn’t considered was the help I received with coming to terms with my new disability. Basically, nobody cared, nobody saw it as a barrier. I was made to feel so welcome and, whilst I didn’t want to talk about it, everyone was understanding and helped so much. I had fallen on what I call dark times prior to attending the Shed. Depression wasn’t something I had ever experienced but I was clearly depressed and struggling to come to terms with what had happened. Attending the Shed gave me a release, a chance to get back some of my independence but also some great banter.
Early on in my Shed experience I actually found the sit round and Jackanory session some of the members would instigate would be the best part of the Shed. Some of the stories were very funny and some really interesting. We have members from all walks of life with differing experiences - some real characters. Just what I needed, I had missed this.
It’s been a journey for the Shed, raising money and gaining lottery funding. Two years and the group are in their own home. The Shed is amazing and those people responsible for its completion and fruition should be very proud. We have built a legacy, a place to feel some belonging and a place to just be. I am really looking forward to working on Community projects and welcoming new members.
Remember that ‘Little Dave’ sits on most of our shoulders. Don’t let him/her dictate, make the call or drop us a line via the website. There are plenty of biscuits and tea waiting to welcome you. Don’t sit and think about what it could be like, take some action. You won’t regret it.