Last week, Farnham Men in Sheds put the finishing touches to their project to increase the capacity of the Hale Community Fridge and Cupboard food waste reduction scheme. Hale Community’s Fridge and Cupboard, launched in August 2020, aims at reducing food waste by partnering with local supermarkets, taking on surplus that would have gone to landfill, and encouraging anyone to donate food they don’t need or won’t eat.
"We’ve had some wonderful donations from people who have grown produce themselves and found they can’t get through all their harvest. The outdoor cupboard enables us to have a dry place outside to store fruit and vegetables so that the community can access what they need at any time.”
Katie from Hale Community Fridge and Cupboard
The cupboard was constructed from recycled wood, donated by a volunteer at Hale Community Centre who was removing decking from her garden. The men buffed up and cut down the wood to make it into the storage units, as well as adding features to ensure it met food and hygiene standards. Richard, Rory and Ian took a lead on this project, under the supervision of Ken McGowan, Facilitator for Farnham Men in Sheds. Where possible, the group always looks to use reclaimed and recycled materials.
“The guys get enormous satisfaction from building with materials that would otherwise have been thrown away. (We) enjoy working on projects that people get a real benefit from. It was great to hear from the volunteers at Hale about the use the cupboard has been getting and how we were able to help them achieve that"
Ken McGowan, Facilitator for Farnham Men in Sheds
The Fridge and Cupboard is located at Hale Community Centre and is open 10am-12pm Monday-Wednesday and 2pm-4pm on a Friday. They work on the ethos of, ‘take what you need and give what you have excess of'. It is free to all regardless of financial situation and if you have nothing to donate, that’s not a problem.
who are farnham men in sheds?
Delivered through a collaboration between Farnham Maltings and space2grow, Farnham Men in Sheds was set up in September 2019 for people interested in making and repairing. Since then the group has met weekly and worked on a number of community projects, continuing to build relationships and for projects that serve the local community.
At the start, the group carried out several projects for their home, space2grow, whilst getting to know one another. space2grow is a community garden in the centre of Farnham, using the space to deliver a variety of activities including gardening and cooking groups, yoga and school visits.
their biggest project to date & forthcoming work
The group has been designing and constructing decking around the pond at space2grow. Funded by the Farnham Mayor Pat Evans, the decking allows more groups to safely access the pond, especially school groups using the trip to enhance biology lessons. They have since gone onto start construction on a pizza oven for space2grow and will be working on bat boxes, allotment fencing and wellie boot storage for a local school in the coming months.
their previous projects have included:
- Designing and building a circular bench to go around a tree at space2grow.
- Repairing a bridge which had floated 30 yards downstream because of the effects of flooding and high winds on the acre.
- Constructing a garden gate, after a local resident has hers vandalised and smashed.
If you are interested in Farnham Men in Sheds working on a project with you, please click through to our project form and we’ll be in touch! We love talking to new groups and getting involved in a wide variety of projects. What you see here is only a selection of what we’re able to do.