Viatris Volunteers – What a Crew!

The team at The Red Shed have many talents and keep our organisation running effectively all year round. But…..we don’t always have enough time for all the maintenance needed to keep our Garden looking fabulous and sometimes we need a little help with things like using Excel Spreadsheets or making the best of Social Media.

We are very VERY lucky to have support from our good friends at Viatris – They are a global pharmaceutical company with an office in Hatfield. We have now hosted 3 volunteer days where teams of Viatris staff have given time to painting, clearing, digging and giving us some vital IT support. Their time makes a big difference to us and we are grateful to them all.

Pride Of Stevenage Awards

As founder of The Red Shed, I was very proud to receive the Caring Award at The Pride of Stevenage Awards this month. I was nominated by a carer who comes along to The Red Shed Garden Clubs, which made it even more special. The Red Shed Project has been a challenge, a joy and source of great personal pride…but it goes without saying that it wouldn’t exist, be as effective or be such a wonderful community without the support of everyone else involved.

Thank you all ! Su

Feedback in 3D

The original red shed is turning and little pink in the sun! So – before it gets a new coat of paint we took the opportunity to do some graffiti and we asked some participants to paint something they feel about being at The Red Shed garden clubs.

The result was wonderful!……

Hot Hot Hot

What a month! We have experienced record breaking hot weather and an acute lack of rainfall.

The Red Shed garden has suffered and even with copious watering we have lost some of our plants and the vegetables are poor.

It’s not only the fuana that suffer but our participants have as well. It’s been a god send to have the extra space we developed last year as this has provided welcome and necessary shade for our garden clubs.

We did have to succumb on the 15th August when there was a red weather warning and we took the decision that people would be safer at home.

Dementia can effect the way you body reacts to temperature. It may stop you feeling hot or cold or simply not recognise a, possibly dangerous, change in your body temperature. If you don’t know that you’re hot you may well make poor decisions about clothing, seeking shade or taking on fluids. All of these can become real issues if they are not reacted to appropriately.

Medications can also cause the body to react differently to temperature so it’s important not to second guess anyone who is living with dementia – you may need to react for them.

Open Days 2022

It was great to open our garden gate again this year

and welcome in the friends and families of everyone

involved at The Red Shed.

We also had visits from various organisations and funders we work along with the Lady Mayor of Stevenage, the Lady Mayors and the Deputy Mayor.

A good time was enjoyed by all!

Waving the flag for dementia services…..

As part of the annual Stevenage Day event this month, local organisations were invited to get involved in creating flags to represent their work in the town.

It was great to be invited along to the Intro Evening where the initial plans were set out. The idea was to have a flag for older peoples services which included dementia but, at we always say at The Red Shed…. ‘dementia does not just affect older people and older people don’t all get affected by dementia’…Pleased to say our suggestion of a separate flag for dementia services went ahead and after getting in touch with other organisations – we created something special to highlight our presence in Stevenage.

Above is the wonderful outcome – it’s big and beautiful and contains the logos for Open ArtBox, Music 24, Imagination Dance, Hertswise and Hertswise Young Onset Dementia, GEMMS…and of course The Red Shed. It’s a good start to highlighting the presence of valuable and varied dementia friendly activities and services in the town.

The Red Shed on the Road!

We ran our first trip out into the community today, taking our Croquet players to visit the Letchworth Croquet Club.

It was a great evening and everyone enjoyed themselves very much – even the terrible weather didn’t dampen our spirits or drown our tallents!

For those effected by dementia it was an opportunity to go somewhere safe and relaxed with familiar faces. Thank you LCC for making us so very welcome!

Business Effectiveness – no one is too small!

Being the Founder of The Red Shed has been challenging and a joy. I have simply made the ideas in my head into a reality with lots of help and support from family, friends, colleagues and organisations. Hard work – yes. Sometimes scary – yes! But fundamentally a lot of fun, and with all the good feelings that come from achievement and purpose.

However, The Red Shed now very much exists with all the responsibilities and accountability that comes with a small organisation. Looking forward and with plans to grow it is the perfect time to get some training and insight on being a CEO and leading an effective business.

I am really pleased to have been accepted on the Hertfordshire Community Foundation’s Business Effectiveness course. It’s fully funded and includes the opportunity to work with a Mentor. I’m very much looking forward to it all and where it will take The Red Shed next.

Al’s Cafe @ The Red Shed is launched

We are so excited to add a carers café to the services at The Red Shed.

We have teamed up with Al’s Café who were originally based in the older peoples department at the local hospital. When older peoples services were relocated to another hospital, Al’s Cafe found a room at the local fire station. Then, when COVID hit, they became homeless.

The Red Shed Project has always planned to open a café on site and this is the perfect opportunity to provide a place for support, information and a little respite to those who care for people with dementia. We are using the church hall adjacent to our garden but look forward to the summer months where carers can enjoy cake and a cuppa in the sunshine on our patio.

We plan to invite other organisations to come along and provide details of their services so in addition to alleviating feelings of isolation we can ensure carers are well informed and have a tool kit to help them cope.

What The Red Shed Means to us…….

We asked Julie and her Dad to give us some feedback on their experience of coming along to The Red Shed Project and this is what they said……

The Red Shed from my perspective and also from my dad, Roger, is that it’s a sanctuary.

The Red Shed is somewhere we both know we can go to have some ‘time out’ in a safe, happy, friendly environment.  It gives dad time to be useful, do something positive and use up some of his negative energy.  Somewhere to feel like you are making a real contribution with the benefit of talking to other like minded people.  If you enjoy being outside, any amount of gardening, being a little bit physical then this safe haven will help nurture and nourish you and make you smile when you feel only tears and frustration.

From my point of view, I can let off steam, talk, find out really useful information, just lose myself and then share my experiences in a safe environment if I want to.  It actually saves my sanity and restores calm to my turmoil.  To say we love it is an understatement. Su and her volunteers are truly angels and the other members are amazing and lovely to be with.  We actually need more places like The Red Shed so all those people who need help can gain so much from all the health and mental health benefits this activity offers.