Members of Melton community workshop send out desperate plea for new home

Every Wednesday in Melton, dozens of mainly retired people get together to share their skills and expertise with each other in a flourishing community workshop.
Woody Kitson, Sue Cox and Liz Cox with items which have been made or restored at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095227001Woody Kitson, Sue Cox and Liz Cox with items which have been made or restored at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095227001
Woody Kitson, Sue Cox and Liz Cox with items which have been made or restored at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095227001

But members of Melton Space are worried because their organisation will become homeless at the end of this month.

They’ve been gathering in the garage and meeting rooms behind the country park for the last year, learning carpentry, DIY, electrical and craft skills from one another.

They restore, re-purpose and recycle pieces of furniture, garden equipment and electric items, among many other things.

Barry Gilchrist abd Dave Shearer busy on their laser cutter at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095156001Barry Gilchrist abd Dave Shearer busy on their laser cutter at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095156001
Barry Gilchrist abd Dave Shearer busy on their laser cutter at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095156001

But their arrangement to use the facilities free of charge is coming to an end because Melton Learning Hub needs the space to expand its teaching services.

So Melton Space today makes a heartfelt please to property owners and organisations in the town to let them continue their activities in a new building.

Treasurer Lloyd Stevens said: “We are grateful to the learning hub because this was always a temporary arrangement and they’ve allowed us to establish our organisation.

“But we will be homeless at the end of June and we desperately need somewhere new to set up.

Liz Fox and Roy Tyers check some work from a bobbin sander at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095207001Liz Fox and Roy Tyers check some work from a bobbin sander at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095207001
Liz Fox and Roy Tyers check some work from a bobbin sander at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095207001

“We need a place which is fairly central in the town with a room where we can also store our tools and equipment in.

“We can’t afford a commercial rent but we are hoping that someone will come forward and help us to continue.”

More than 50 people are currently signed up to Melton Space and they pay a minimum of £1 for every session - on Wednesdays from 3pm - or whatever they feel is an appropriate amount.

They then get the use of woodworking tools, a laser cutter, computers, sewing machines, 3D printers, hand tools and electronic equipment or they help others to use them.

Shanti Patman gets some advice from Lloyd Stevens on the scroll saw at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095217001Shanti Patman gets some advice from Lloyd Stevens on the scroll saw at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095217001
Shanti Patman gets some advice from Lloyd Stevens on the scroll saw at a Melton Space session EMN-180806-095217001

“We have quite an eclectic group of people in the group,” said Lloyd.

“A lot of them are retired people with skills which they otherwise wouldn’t have shared with anyone.

“We might get someone come along who has never used a saw before, for example, and by the end of the day they’ve made a bird box or a planter.

“It’s a great social experience too and the banter is really good most Wednesdays.”

Melton Space treasurer Lloyd Stevens EMN-180806-095237001Melton Space treasurer Lloyd Stevens EMN-180806-095237001
Melton Space treasurer Lloyd Stevens EMN-180806-095237001

Melton Space is run by volunteers and relies on donations to buy mainly second hand tools and equipment.

It has received £4,500 in grants from Leicestershire County Council, Melton Council, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Fund and the Melton Lions.

Lloyd said: “We provide a social service as well as everything else.

“A lot of members are community care support workers who bring their clients along to learn skills and enjoy some social interaction.”

With the deadline to leave their country park HQ fast approaching, the group is undertaking an inventory of all they own with members being tasked to store it all until a new meeting place can be found.

They have held a meeting with the borough council and are hopeful the authority might be able to help them in the short term.

Lloyd added: “Ideally we want somewhere we can stay open six or seven days a week.

“Our membership is growing and we would certainly attract more people if we could meet more often.

“Hopefully someone will come forward and help us to do that.”

Email [email protected] or call 07857 203719 if you are interested in offering Melton Space a new meeting venue.