The Cart Shed, a charity that works through woodcraft and horticultural activities to support adults and young people experiencing poor mental health, has been nominated for the Mental Health Award.

The team, who all agreed to a 20 per cent pay cut to ensure the survival of the charity, have faced considerable challenges through lockdown but have managed to remain open, albeit in a very different guise, making a commitment to their service users – many of whom were understandably very frightened and anxious – to continue to support them.

Initially, this was achieved through weekly phone calls, then a remote woodland therapeutic service was developed, using a combination of posted worksheets, practical course/activity kits delivered to people’s homes by volunteers, telephone contact, and a Facebook forum.

They also set up a buddy system, matching volunteers with participants to increase human interaction to provide a lifeline to service users.

The Cart Shed said: “We offer woodcraft and horticultural activities in an emotionally and physically safe space in our woodlands. Friendships are formed, skills are gained, which improve well-being, self-esteem and emotional resilience: a future is found.

"For some this means finding work, perhaps for the first time, for others a successful return to work.

"For all, including staff and volunteers it provides a sense of purpose.

"We work with approximately 250 individuals a year offering 4,000-day sessions for adults, 200 day sessions (term time only) to young people all supported by over 2,500 hours worked by our team of volunteers.”

Visit for full details of the awards, and the online awards evening on Thursday, October 22.

We welcome nominations from the general public, business and private organisations and of course health and social care professionals who make a difference to so many lives.

Hereford Times: