Arthur Rank Hospice Charity seeking community minded volunteers to run Arthurís Shed


Friday 15 March 2019



Arthur Rank Hospice Charity is recruiting volunteers to maintain and develop Arthurís Shed, to start as soon as possible.

The innovative community space is a vibrant hub within the Hospice and the wider community, offering a refreshing programme of volunteer-led activities.

Arthurís Shed was funded through a generous gift left in a Will and opened its doors at the same time as the Hospice - within its landscaped gardens - in November 2016. Inspired by the Menís Shed movement, the studio room was integrated within hospiceís design as a non-clinical space, where people connected to the Hospice and the wider community can come together to share skills, learn something new and socialise.

Project Coordinator Jan Wilderspin was recruited after a grant was secured from The Big Lottery Fund, to develop the initiative further. Having been in post since August 2018, she has cultivated a diverse time-table of volunteer-led activities which are open to everyone, including the Hospiceís patients, their family members, staff, volunteers and the general public.

She comments: ďArthurís Shed has always been a popular space, but within the last six months itís really come into its own, with people coming along each month to enjoy everything from carpentry in the Menís Shed to tapestry, sugar craft to model railway, still-life drawing to health information sessions, watercolour painting to Tíai Chi.

ďOur ĎSheddersí have really enjoyed themselves: many have commented on how relaxing they have found the sessions; some have even found that their confidence has increased. Arthurís Shed has become a real hub of the Hospice. We have met a wonderful cross section of the local community and it has added value to the lives of those who already knew of us, as well as introducing the Hospice to people who had never previously walked through our doors.Ē

Between 10 and 20 sessions are held every week, thanks to generous local support and grants, with Arthurís Shed collectively welcoming 100 people each month. As well as providing a safe, warm and friendly venue where volunteers share their time and talents, the community space has played an important part in helping the community see what Hospice is really like.

The Big Lottery funding of the Project Coordinator role will finish at the end of 12 months in July. Having established strong foundations, Janís final challenge is to recruit a team of volunteers who she will support to take over responsibility for Arthurís Shed. Volunteers are invited to apply now and will be appointed as soon as possible, in order to ensure a smooth hand-over.

Arthurís Shed Administration volunteers (offering 1-2 hours per week) will release the monthly calendars, liaise with activity sessions leaders and provide them with support, assist with marketing and help recruit attendees. Arthurís Shed Buddies (offering two hours one morning or afternoon per week, fortnight or month) will be on hand during weekly sessions to meet and greet participants, support the running of sessions, provide hands-on support to activity session leaders and oversee health and safety.

These roles offer some exciting opportunities to develop and grow the community space further, raising its profile and supporting the Hospice as it integrates more fully with the local community. Individuals will be encouraged to use their own experience, ideas and talents and collaborate with the entire Arthurís Shed team, in order to shape how the project moves forward. To find out more about either role, or to apply, please contact the Voluntary Services team on 01223 675872 or volunteer@arhc.orh.uk.