Opening Times :-
Tuesdays 9.00 - 12.30 (both craft and woodwork rooms)
Wednesdays 10.00 - 12.00 (craft)
Thursdays 2.00 - 4.00 (woodwork)
We appreciate that some people cannot make those times because of other commitments, so if you would like to come in at some other time, please let us know and we will try to arrange something. Of course, it all depends on having people who can come in and take responsibility for each session (locking up, health-and-safety, that sort of thing) so again – if you can help with that, let us know.
Here’s an update on the progress we’ve been making at the Workshop over the past few weeks.
Fitting out If you’ve dropped in recently to see, you’ll know that things have been moving ahead steadily in getting the final tweaks done so that we can welcome everyone in. We now have fully functional electrics, and water plumbed in to the sink in the woodwork room. (We’ve also put a drain in as well, so no risk of flooding the place when someone leaves the tap on !) Colin has now PAT-tested most of the electrical tools, and fitted a new motor to a vacuum cleaner that we rescued from a skip. The fit-out team (Dave, Terry, Mike, Richard and others) have paneled the side walls of the woodwork room, and have started making dedicated storage spaces for the different types of hand tools. And out the back, we’re just starting on building a covered storage area for timber and other things that need to be kept dry until they are needed. Meanwhile, Pat has already held a few sessions in the craft room, making cushions for the Workshop’s chairs – with regular weekly sessions just about to get under way again after the Christmas break.
Our AGM Something for your diaries: the Workshop’s AGM will be in April, when everyone will have the opportunity to have their say about how the Workshop is run, and what they would like to see on offer for people to do. More details will be sent out closer to the date.
Fundraising Money, money, money ...... We have already been very fortunate in applying successfully for several grants to help complete the fit-out and support our running costs, so thanks to OCC’s Connected Communities Fund and the Beer Festival for their recent help. And everyone else can help too – we are now registered with easyfunding, so that we can raise a donation every time that one of you shops with one of the companies signed up to the scheme. easyfundraising claims to be the UK's biggest charity fundraising site. Once you have registered with them, you use the link on their site to the business that you want to buy something from. Using the link earns them a commission, which they pass on to us as a donation. The link to our page is: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/charlbury-community-workshop where you can find out more about the scheme and how it works. There’s also a QR code that you can scan to get to the easyfundraising website
Every penny we raise will be most welcome, so please think about signing up – the donations come from the businesses that you buy from, at no cost to you. Just be warned though, that until you opt out, you will be bombarded by emails from easyfundraising trying to direct you towards their linked retailers.
That’s all for now, and we look forward to seeing you soon. The Workshop is yours, so please come and use it.
The Charlbury Community Workshop (CCW) is set up to provide an affordable facility for repairing, making and training in a variety of practical crafts such as woodworking, needlecraft, electrical/electronic repairs, stained glass, and upholstery. The woodworking will cover both small items like bird boxes and larger personal projects like chairs and other pieces of furniture.
The CCW has been set up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, but it is an Association CIO and so it has members (like a club) who elect the trustees. There is a purpose-built workshop next to the Community Centre. The workshop is 9m by 5m, divided into two separate work spaces, one for fabric/materials, with sewing machines and an overlocker, and the other for woodworking and other crafts, with benches and various power tools (drills and lathes) and hand tools (chisels, saws, files, hammers). While costs have been kept low by having as much as possible of the construction work done without charge by members of the working group and other volunteers, more funding is needed for fit out.
So far the CCW has received funding for the insulation of the building from Sustainable Charlbury, a substantial grant from The Glasgow Foundation and also a grant from the Town Council. The workshop will be opened on prearranged mornings and afternoons, with supervision by coordinators experienced in the safe use of the equipment. All members/volunteers will have to complete a safety induction training for the area that they are going to work in (dusty area or/and clean area) before they can use the facilities. Funding for ongoing operations comes from a mixture of annual membership fees (£25 a year), session fees (£1 a session), special fund-raising events, and the sale of items made at the workshop (such as bird boxes and hedgehog houses). There will be no staff costs as everyone will volunteer their time. The CCW has arranged its own insurance covering the operation of the workshop and the building and contents. The workshop was declared open on 20 May 2023 by Suzie Fletcher, the television personality, in front of a large audience. Around 100 people had signed up to the mailing list before it opened and there are already some 50 paid-up members.
The benefits of the CCW will be numerous and varied. As the UK Men’s Sheds Association writes: For a long time research has shown the negative impact of loneliness and isolation on a person’s health and wellbeing. Recently we have seen more evidence come to light that shows loneliness and isolation can be as hazardous to our health as obesity and excessive smoking. Surveys from mental health charities are finding that millions of people report feeling lonely on a daily basis. Men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, and unlike women of a similar age, less older men have networks of friends and rarely share personal concerns about health and personal worries. It is not the case for all men, but for some, when retirement comes, it can feel like personal identity and purpose is lost. Men’s Sheds can change all of that. Sheds are about meeting like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge with like-minded people and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. As a by-product of all of that they reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness, they allow men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities and in many cases, they save men’s lives. (See the UK Men’s Sheds Association’s website: https://menssheds.org.uk/about/what-is-a-mens-shed/) The CCW will be a place for both men and women to pursue practical interests at leisure, to develop and practise skills and to enjoy making and mending. It will foster company and camaraderie, social connections and friendship building as well as the sharing of skills and knowledge.
Please contact any of
the CCW trustees to hear more:
- Chris Potts, Chair
- Colin Critch
- David Court
- Grace Cahill
- Lucy Overs
- Matthew Scott
- Simon Walker
- Tony Merry
- William Robinson, Secretary
The building is now constructed and it is housed adjacent to the Community Centre next to the Medical Centre.
We have had many generous donations of tools from the community for which we are very grateful. The next stage is fitting out the interior with a floor and internal walls ( see the donate materials page).
We are established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Charity Commission Registered Charity Number 1202551 Registered Charity Number 1202551