The Beacon Shed at The Whitaker
'A special place for everyone'

A unique dementia-friendly Community Shed

Our dementia-friendly Community Shed, nestled in a peaceful location at the rear of The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery is the first of its kind in the UK, and offers a unique experience for our participants. So often, people living with dementia are told that they can't do things anymore - but not so at the Beacon Shed!

Here, people living with dementia work alongside people without these challenges, pursuing their interests in a safe and welcoming environment. Our friendly staff work with participants to find out what they enjoy, and help them to maintain a connection to things they love. They enable participants to 
experience activities which mean something to them, without feeling judged or excluded, and to feel supported and valued.

Our participants and families tells us that people living with dementia and their Carers may feel isolated, have a lack of purpose and often struggle to find safe opportunities to connect with others and share or make use of their skills. The Beacon Shed provides just this!

Some of the activities in this unique community Shed include gardening, woodwork, making and mending, designing, DIY, nature walks, sewing and art sessions - all of which can be adapted to be dementia-friendly.  The kettle is always on, and biscuits and toast are plentiful!
Through meeting old and new friends, socialising, sharing skills and knowledge, the Beacon Shed provides people with a safe and relaxing environment to talk about worries, share experiences and take part in varied activities to support their wellbeing.

We offer support to the whole family here - Carers and families are supported too. As well as giving carers a break, whilst their loved one is at the Shed, we offer a listening ear, can signpost to further services or introduce carers or family members to each other.

We also offer volunteering opportunities to those who would like to help our participants within the Shed.

Sessions at the Beacon Shed currently run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you know someone whom may benefit from the activities, please click the 'Make a Referral' button below to access our referral criteria and the online referral form.

There is a small charge for this service.

Donate to the Beacon Shed

You can donate to help keep the Beacon Shed running easily by scanning the QR code to donate direct to us by mobile banking, or by clicking the Donate Now button below to donate through online banking. 
Thank you!

The Shed at Work

Snippets of what our participants get up to at the Beacon Shed

The photos below show the clearing of the Shed site, the construction of the Shed and the fit out.

Grant Funding

We are very grateful to the following organisations for their Grants towards The Beacon Shed