This was first published in Kelso Life, February 2024

The Kelso Men’s Shed is a charitable organisation run exclusively by volunteers, no one is employed; it relies entirely upon people giving up their time to enable it to operate. One example of this is the recent application for E Bikes.

Initially we talked to Gala Men’s Shed, as they have already received a grant; they gave us advice on types of bikes and how to word our application. We requested an application which turned out to be a 23-page document with a 20 plus page guide to how to complete it.

We started our research on the range of bikes, visited two local suppliers, discussed the pros and cons of various bikes and got quotations, which included the full range of safety equipment required.

Completing the application form was exhaustive. As well as a financial spreadsheet detailing the costs,  we were also required to produce a further five spreadsheets, as well as three documents covering maintenance logs, application requests, load, incoming and outgoing  condition reports etc. Quotes had to be obtained from insurance companies covering third party liability,  fire, theft, damage, etc.

We  received some assistance through attending a couple of online discussions with the Energy Trust about how to fill in the applications answering any queries.

The result of all this work is that the application has now been submitted, prior to the closing date of 22nd of September. We will be informed of the outcome a couple of weeks later.

This is just one example of the background work required to make the Shed a ‘going concern’. There are many others: cleaning, finances, rotas, memberships, shop front, meetings, building work, maintenance, and so on. All of this work is done by these unpaid volunteers, for the benefit of it’s members.

from Kelso Life January 2024