Sunlight Development Trust

Sunlight Development Trust’s aim is to reduce health and social inequalities, improve life chances, and break down barriers to economic/social participation for the most deprived members of the communities of Medway. 

The grant supported a project set up by the Men in Sheds scheme which provides structured practical activities, a social network and the opportunity to develop friendships and support networks for predominantly long term unemployed men in their thirties and new retirees known to be isolated, lonely, at risk of suicide, self-harm and lifestyles that lead to poor mental and physical health. 

Men in sheds

The participants set-up a micro-enterprise, based in a 30ft shipping container, under the support of the Men in Sheds co-ordinator. The project enabled the group to offer a PAT testing service to local charities, small businesses and community groups, either at low or no cost with any income reinvested through the Men in Sheds scheme. This gave participants an important sense of self-worth and a chance to feel that they are active participants in society. The project has developed from ideas from the group to make Men in Sheds more self-sustaining and a resource for the wider community. The grant has helped turn an idea into a reality and spur the group on.

The project gave individuals the opportunity to gain new skills and also the confidence to be able to think about getting back into or moving towards an economically active life. In total, 73 participants took part in the project of which 60% reported having improved social networks, 93% reported having improved quality of life, confidence and self-esteem. Twelve of the members completed the First Aid Training and thirteen completed the Health & Safety Training with a total of 142 hours of educational/skills training provided, including first aid and woodworking.