The Camden Town Shed was established in 2011 to offer a workspace for local people to explore their individual and shared practical projects in the company of others, encouraging members to develop new skills and friendships.
London residents can access a range of tools and equipment, with sessions focusing on delivering woodworking and pottery projects. Camden Town Shed has set up weekly sessions that are attended by experienced supervisors, who ensure residents can make the most of their time in the shed.
The grant received from HS2 will be used to employ a Special Needs Programme Supervisor to manage Camden Town Shed’s activity sessions for adults with special needs and rehabilitation which take place on Mondays and Thursdays.
The charity hopes that the new role will allow them to provide services to more people in the local community, including providing 1:1 guidance for members with additional needs including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down's Syndrome and Dementia.
Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds, said:
“The Camden Town Shed provides a unique service to their members, including offering a safe space for some of society’s most vulnerable individuals to hone their practical skills and learn from others.
“The funding application clearly highlighted that the Camden Town Shed is already successfully serving their local community. I would encourage any organisation in a similar position that can also demonstrate they have been impacted by the construction of HS2 to also apply for funding.”
The idea behind the ‘community shed’ originated from the Men’s Shed movement in Australia, where well over 1000 communities have already been established.
The Camden Town Shed has played a founding role in the development of the Men’s Shed Association (UKMSA) in the UK, which is now made up of over 580 Sheds. Membership of the Camden Town Shed is open to both men and women, and there's no joining fee.
A spokesperson from The Camden Town Shed said:
“The grant has been most welcome as it has given us the security that our special needs sessions will be funded for the next 3 years and HS2 has been a most valued resource of recyclable material.
“Our members take pride in that we like to reuse as much recycled material as possible from Parquet flooring to old kitchen tops and many other items. We encourage our members to look for wooden items that can be reused.
“We would like to thank the HS2 Ltd for the financial support, the supply of recyclable material, the support for our projects and all they are doing for the local community and other groups along the length of the new high speed rail line.”
The Camden Town Shed received £28,800 grant through HS2’s Community & Environment Fund (CEF). HS2, the company building the UK’s new high speed rail line, has already funded over 198 projects near their line of route between London, Birmingham, and Manchester.
Local organisations including sports clubs, charities, youth programmes and local employability training schemes have already received over £11.4 million pounds of funding from the HS2 project. In Greater London, 21 projects have already successfully received over £2 million pounds of funding since applications opened in 2017.
HS2’s Community & Environment Fund (CEF) and Business & Local Economy Fund (BLEF) are independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK. The funds are still open to applications: