Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The Broadstairs Town Shed is a community-led project launched in 2013, inspired by the world-wide 'Men's Shed Movement'.

We converted and refurbished a small space into a workshop initially, and have now grown exponetially and sourced, refurbished and now occupy a larger industrial building in St. Peter's in Thanet, East Kent.

Our building is a woodworking, carpentry & metalworking workshop made through hard work, many volunteer hours & support from our local community & funders.

When converting the building, we knew accessibility was key, but as we did all the work ourselves on a shoestring, all we could do was leave a space where an accessible lift to access the 1st floor to be installed once sufficient funds were raised.

As a self-funded, independent project, supported by members fees and one off grants from supporters, we knew as a priority we had to complete the workshop itself as Phase 1, to allow for huge demand to join the project locally.

Shed helps alleviate loneliness & isolation for primarily, but not exclusively, older men, through woodworking, carpentry and community-focused payback activities.

We provide Health & well-being messages, support, information & other learning activities including cooking, computer classes & other crafts.

The project supports older people from across Thanet, one of the most deprived areas of Kent, with amongst the fastest-growing aging population in the UK.

Our members range from 55 – 86 and we have over 130 registered members, are open 3 days a week, most sessions see at least 20 and up to 30 people involved.

We also now rent out our upper room to local community groups, again to generate income to help cover our overhead. We do not have external regular income.

We upcycle and repair items, & hand make 'Shed products', which we sell at local fairs to also help with running costs.

We now have a very, very urgent need for a lift to make the upper floor accessible to all existing and potential members and other users of the space.

Our workshops are on the ground floor, which is fine & we have made provision for all abilities within the workshop facility.

However, our only toilets are upstairs, as is the 'Mess' room.
A key part of the Shed's guiding principle is sharing skills, stories, & socialising, & we have created this space on the first floor, only accessible currently via a flight of 20+ stairs, along with an accessible toilet .
In this 'Mess' room, users can relax & many, many friendships have already been created.

We already have 6 regular users who use mobility scooters, 6 who use sticks every day, and 80% of our members have some more of mobility issues, which will only get worse.
Member' health issues s range from arthritis, breathing difficulties, asthma & the side effects of diabetes, strokes, surgery and years of physical hard work before retirement.
Lack of a lift also prevents many potential members with mobility from joining until they can access the 1st floor, and precludes any local community groups who have in turn members with accessibility issues from using that space, reducing our income further.

As they age, more members will of course experience reduced mobility.
We want to ‘future proof’ the project & ensure members aren’t stopped from coming at a time when they need it most : if they lose mobility, they are at higher risk of isolation, depression & loneliness.

We would dearly love your support, and vote for our project for the installation of an accessible lift.

The 9 'Shed Heads' who manage the project, supervise activities & drive projects we do with local organisations, supporting people with Mental Health issues, plus our programme of inter-generational activities with schools & FE colleges and projects supporting other community groups.

We applied last year and made the final.
We were subsequently promised funding from another source which then sadly disappeared.
A lift is vital now.

Project Video

Broadstairs Town Team ltd

Moment of Pride

The difference it has made to individuals, families, our community.
It tackles the thorny issues of loneliness and isolation in older people.
The respite it gives older carers.
The place it has carved in our community to help others in turn.
The individual success stories we have.
The laughter

Location: Broadstairs