Hospice UK’s Head of Hospice Support Elizabeth Palfreman tells us about having a ‘shed’ at the charity’s upcoming conference for delegates to leave behind ideas and make use of other people’s.
Any of us who have had to clear a lifetime of possessions from an elderly relative’s house or from our own home when moving, come to that moment when we have to face the shed.
The shed is full of stuff that might come in useful one day. It has flowerpots, half-finished projects, abandoned keep-fit equipment, pieces of string. There is the familiar and comforting thought that all is safe in the shed.
When you come to clear it you are faced with wonderment. ‘So that is where it got to!’ ‘What was that for?’ and ‘Will it feature on Antiques Roadshow?’ When it came to clearing my father-in-law’s shed (a triple length garage), I was amazed by how much others valued ‘junk’. Tools, machinery and even his hand-built canoe were carried off to new homes to please someone else.
The ‘Shedful of ideas’ exhibit at Hospice UK’s National Conference this year aims to breathe new life into ideas that you might have parked in your shed. Perhaps it was the wrong time to work on them or you needed some external input to bring them to reality. They might be ideas about end of life care that you have been mulling over and could do with someone to discuss them with, or perhaps you’ve been struck by inspiration at the conference and have an idea you want to share.
Come to the ‘Shed’, write your idea and contact details on a card, pin it to the trellis and see it blossom as like-minded folk read it and contact you to get involved. Hospice UK staff will be on hand to share information about what is going on in the sector and how to take your idea forward.
The growth of “man sheds” in hospices shows the power of a space where you can gain support, talk and find new direction. Come to the Shedful of Ideas at the conference and discover how a ‘pre-loved’ idea can go on to benefit others. That handmade canoe sold for £25 in a charity shop to one delighted purchaser!