MEMBERS of Westbury Shed got together at a BBQ for the first time in 18 months and finally saw the finished new workshop at the Westbury Community Project.
Martin McGiff, trustee and treasurer, said “It’s been 18 months since we all had a chance to meet up as a group, but what happens when a pandemic comes along, and then we have to all socially isolate in our own homes?
“With some sharing of sad stories of loss of friends, isolation, loneliness, and missing loved ones, all was forgotten for a few hours over a burger, hot dog and a cuppa tea, as the trustees of Westbury Shed finally got to show everyone the finished new workshop at the back of the WCP building.
“With the government restrictions still in place and following social distance tours of six indoors at a time, Shed chairman Fred Beckett said that the premises had recently been sanitised to ensure that members were kept safe and social distancing was the order of the day. The talk soon turned to how our members had coped when the Shed was closed and how depression had begun to surface in many of us.”
Members considered what the organisation will look like in a post-pandemic world.
As the trustees figure out how to operate safely when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, Fred said, the Shed boasts around 40 members but he would like to see more regulars – and expects the coming months will offer plenty to keep them busy.
“We have had to close since all this started, but one or two have been going in to do little projects,” said Fred.
“When we first re-opened eight weeks ago, we agreed to only open on Saturdays, but before Coronavirus we were running Wednesday and Saturday pretty much all the time with plans to open daily.”
Community leaders have identified that groups like the Shed could play a pivotal dual role in the emergence from the Covid-19 crisis, helping bring people back together and providing valuable help for other local organisations.
Fred added: “We have already done lots of projects for local town folk and we’re lucky to have this premises and we will have to put our heads together to work out how we are going to operate once the restrictions are lifted. It may mean that we’ll have to stagger days for groups of people, but we would be very keen to try and get more members in.
“I imagine that there may be someone out of work, retired, or still furloughed so hopefully once we are able to re-open fully we can boost attendance.”
Anyone interested in joining can contact Fred on 07720 914698.