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Celebrating a Decade of Dedication: 10 Years at The Shed

Celebrating a Decade of Dedication: 10 Years at The Shed

Claire Smith, Trustee

It's hard to believe, but this month marks the 10th anniversary of The Shed youth and community project here in Stornoway. Looking back over the decade, it’s a celebration not just of the passage of time but of growth, learning, and community spirit that binds us.

From humble beginnings with just two employees and an empty space, The Shed has blossomed into a thriving hub with 15 dedicated staff members. Each month and year has brought new challenges and experiences, contributing to our ever-evolving story. None of this would have been possible without our incredible team, whose commitment and hard work demonstrate the power of a strong community ethos every single day.

In 2014, we started our very first piece of work supported by the NHS Western Isles Drug & Alcohol Partnership, and within 3 months we were up and running with the Well, our community project supporting those whose lives are affected by addiction. This work has further developed to provide a dedicated female support service, The Ark and most recently in Community the Shed Café has further expanded on our partnership working with ADP.

Over in Youth we have seen a steady and expanding range of services from drop in/clubs, mentoring and dedicated in-school support at Stornoway Primary, Laxdale Primary and the Nicolson Institute. Close partnership working with both Education and Social Work teams at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar continues to see us grow and develop this vital work.

2022 saw us pioneering a partnership with the national charity “Safe Families” and our family work has launched with Safe Families Western Isles, supporting families across the Western Isles. Our most recent partnership programme expanded in 2023 with the expansion of our Little Stars work from 1 session per week to 3 per week, providing a unique opportunity for the Intergenerational model of working to support children aged 0-3 and their families.

Our journey has been one of both hard work and reflection, filled with countless learning opportunities. We've invested heavily in our team, providing regular training, development plans, and an environment that fosters personal and professional growth. This investment in people has paid dividends, creating a staff community that's not just capable but also deeply connected to our mission “Serving our Community to the best of our Ability”.

A heartfelt thanks goes out to our partners, whose collaboration has been instrumental in developing unique programmes that address the gaps in our community services. Your trust and support have been invaluable, and we are eager to continue this journey with you, creating even greater impact together.

At The Shed, we are driven by an ethos that has focus on the people we serve. We believe in working with our community, not just for them. This approach of listening and responding is crucial to everything we do, ensuring that our services are aligned with the needs and aspirations of those we come alongside.

As we celebrate this milestone, we reaffirm our commitment to our core values of love, safety, continuous development, and non-judgement. Our goal has always been to excel in our endeavours and to nurture a place where everyone can feel secure and valued.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey. Here’s to many more years of making a difference at The Shed. We look forward to what the future holds, confident that together, we will continue to achieve remarkable things.

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