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Shed Life began in October 2018 initiated by the Thames Tenants Residents Association and local resident Pam Dumbleton and Humourisk Artistic Director, Susie Miller Oduniyi. We want to make a community space for men to connect, converse and create, providing activities chosen by the men to enjoy together. The purpose is to help reduce loneliness and isolation, to utilise the skills and talents that men can share with each other and create a project that is ultimately led by local men themselves.

 

We initially received £5k from Healthy New Towns (Barking Riverside London) to deliver Phase 1 of the project (October2018-March 2019), which included the engagement of local men and the community within a regular weekly drop-in workshop to form a Steering Group.

 

The steering group has gone from strength to strength, collaborating with the architecture department masters students at the University of East London to design the shed guided by Alan Chandler Head of Architecture and Dr Paula Vandergert Senior Research Fellow Sustainability Research Institute (UEL). Through support from Barking Riverside London we have gathered some amazing support from local companies who are providing pro bono support with surveying the land and building the shed. Shed Life may have been postponed due to the recent Lockdown, but we are even more determined to create our special space for our community.

 

Small grass roots projects like ours really can make a difference to people who are at risk of being left behind. Shed Life provides a locally led vechicle for men and residents to gain skills and confidence to have their voice heard, contributing to local conversations about the varst regeneration project affecting where they live, in Thames View Estate and Barking Riverside.

 

We have since successfully raised £3000 through our crowd funding campaign and received other grants to contribute to the building of the Shed.

Funders: National Lottery, Healthy New Towns & Thames Talk (Barking Riverside London), London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, Trust For London, Creekmouth Preservation Society.

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