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Bob's Blog - July 2024



The year 2024 has been a very busy year in the life of Wendover shed! In many ways being busy can cause stress and difficulty but being busy can also alleviate stress and difficulty. We all need to get the balance right otherwise being busy becomes counterproductive. This blog therefore looks forward to the shed year with a few peeks as to what has been happening in the past. When I was working, or even when I was younger, I used to love SWOT analysis – analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses (which are usually internal) and Opportunities and Threats (which are usually external). A plan is usually derived from a Vision – it is immensely satisfying when many elements of a vision come to fruition

For the purpose of this blog, I’ve chosen three points for each element of the SWOT analysis, Strengths – Engage well with the Community, Shedders feel the love, Shedders talk a lot; Weaknesses – We now know what we should be doing (Safety Policy is taking root), we avoid costly and lengthy timescale projects, Our water supply needs improving; Opportunities – being part of the National and Shed community we are receiving fantastic support, We are making a difference to people lives, more people are joining the shed as volunteers, shedders and friends; Threats – Space is limited so there is a potential threat to expansion, we need to be tight on our finances to make sure that when there is need for an emergency spend the whole organisation is not compromised, Keep spreading good news; one bit of bad stuff can destroy an organisation.

As this is my blog, I’m going to take you through a few successes and failures that we have learnt from.

I’m 72 years of age; I worked in or around the NHS for all of my career, I had stress at work which I found difficult to manage – I’m on medication for depression (a much more common illness amongst men than is generally realised); I now have the normal medical problems that are pretty common amongst men of my age – Eye, Teeth, Prostate. Touch wood I’ve no life limiting illnesses but my life/career has been brushed by suicide of a good friend, death of my parents and family and so on. What more can a man of 72 expect? It will happen to most people in their lives. The differences are where and how people deal with issues, whether those issues are confronted or hidden away.

I’m grateful to be alive and I like to put back something into those that have given to me. I was recently asked to write an article by the Royal College of Surgeons for their magazine based on a simple question “Why do I volunteer?”. It is a question more difficult to answer than you think! At the local poll for the General Election I was told by a young lady that I keep up popping up everywhere! I reflected on this and thought I must wind down some of my activities otherwise I’m going to pop. What do I wind down on? Whatever it is I need to keep the balance.

The key point I’m trying to make is that most of us are Shedders already. We just don’t see it all that clearly. I give a lot of time and effort to the shed but I also get a lot from it. I have loads to look forward to and with the fantastic team of shedders that we have I know that it will happen – maybe a few hiccouphs along the way.

The shed has been entered for the shed of the year in a competition run by UKMSA; we are attending Shedfest in Worcester for the first time, various demo/training events are being set up like turning sessions and working with Resin plus sharpening sessions run by Axminster. Our chat sessions are getting chattier, we have more projects coming up like swap book libraries, notice board repairs, our member numbers are increasing. We are financially sound. For me, its important that we are diverse as we possibly can be – we now have ladies applying to join us; JCS pupils have come down for a session; The Chiltern Group of Sheds held one of their meetings at Wendover shed. We have a proper compost toilet

Finally, the key thing that has been achieved is that we are a trusted organisation; one that reflects well on Wendover; we enjoy each others company and we have respect for one another; we have added value to peoples lives. Thank you one and all in the shed and thank you Wendover (especially to the Wendover WI and WDS who supply us with wonderful cakes).

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Keep hanging on, keep popping up, The Shed needs you. (No pressure)


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