Celebrating the First Anniversary of The Network Shed

Celebrating the First Anniversary of The Network Shed

We are very proud to be celebrating the first anniversary of The Network Shed following a very successful year. The Network Shed, located behind our Network Personnel office on Rainey Street in Magherafelt, first opened in December 2016. It provides a holistic approach to our clients and is an alternative to conventional employability training. The nature of The Network Shed leads to improving the mental health of our clients and also breaking down social barriers.

Members of the Network Shed committee and facilitators at the first anniversary celebrations.

In it’s first year, The Network Shed has welcomed 865 clients and hosted 104 workshops. We describe The Network Shed as being participant led as we listen to what our clients want and deliver it in a relaxed environment away from the ‘classroom’ setting. Various workshops operate in The Network Shed including Women’s DIY, Men’s Shed, Book Club, Grow Your Own, Art & Crafts and Knit & Natter, as well as many others.

One of our members attending Women’s DIY.

The Network Shed has also been used to facilitate workshops and information sessions held by external support organisations including Ascert, Aware, The Volunteer Centre, Women’s Resource and Development Agency and Action on Hearing Loss. This has provided the opportunity for clients to engage with other organisations and access potential support that is available.

Testimony from one of our members

One of our clients, Paul, who has attended The Network Shed and participated in various workshops said,

I have been attending The Network Shed for some time now and I really like getting to mix with other members in a more relaxed environment. The Shed has allowed me to get out of the classroom and focus on building my practical skills for employment through the Men’s Shed sessions with Brian. I have completed a lot of projects, including building bird houses, lawn chairs and recently a yule tide log.”

Paul pictured with his finished product.

In 2018 we hope to expand the activities on offer at The Network Shed so as to enable more of our clients in different areas to avail of the benefits that so many have experienced in the past year. We are currently in the process of developing The Network Shed as an outreach service within the Mid and East Antrim area. We want to continue the great success and would like to offer a wider variety of signposting and specialist support to all of our clients. We would like to thank all of the clients who have attended throughout the year and also to all the organisations we have worked with for their support.

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