The types of equipment that you need will depend entirely on the activities that your members want to do (e.g. woodwork, metalwork, gardening, music, computing). Members might bring in their own hand tools from home, you may also get donations from community members, local businesses or schools through word of mouth. However, if your Shed is going to have any electrical equipment you must ensure that this all complies with safety regulations, such as Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). You can contact a local electrician or visit your national health and safety webpages for guidance; these are all listed in the resources section at the back of the toolkit.
Materials (such as wood or metal) can be found through a number of means:
- Recycling – visiting recycling depots, using Freecycle websites, charity shops, looking for unused or surplus materials from builder’s yards
- Donations – from the local community or local businesses
- Purchased – buying from suppliers, if you let them know that you are a small community group you might even get a discount.
Other Sheds in your area might also be looking to swap, sell or upcycle some of their tools and materials so it might be useful to contact them. Donations of equipment may increase as your Shed becomes more well known. It is a good idea to start to think about storage for equipment and materials from the start, especially when looking at potential premises. This might include having a designated storage space in the shed; finding local free storage solutions within your community; or renting or purchasing storage containers.