Lockdown inspires Shed of the Year award entrants

A PPE workshop supplying visors to the NHS and a garden school are among the projects competing for the annual Shed of the Year crown.

Lockdown has inspired the nation to take their sheds to more imaginative heights, with two new categories catering to those who have used the time working on their garden outposts.

The new categories in the Cuprinol Shed of the Year awards are Lockdown Repurpose, for people who have transformed their existing shed in response to the pandemic, and Lockdown New-build, for those who have started from scratch.

The shortlist for the Repurpose category includes Sarah McGoldrick, who responded to the PPE shortage in the early days of the pandemic by supplying frontline NHS staff with visors from her shed workshop in Sheffield.

Teacher Ashley Bates, from London, used the opportunity to create The Shed School, a free online educational platform for key stage one pupils.

Joe Melton, from King’s Lynn in Norfolk, is up for the New-build award after he created a back garden bar to compensate for a dream holiday to Florida being cancelled.

Also included is Pat Crook, from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, who recreated a beach hut to provide soothing surroundings for her father, who suffers from dementia.

Hundreds of entries were whittled down to a shortlist of 27 across nine categories. The winners will be decided by a public vote, with a panel of experts deciding on the overall winner after voting closes on August 9.

The overall winner will receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.

Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “More than ever, the events of recent months have shown us what a valuable role sheds can play in our lives.

“They are spaces where we can help our NHS heroes, educate our children and care for our family.

“They highlight all that is great about Britain – our ingenuity, our eccentricity and our determination to help others.”

Last year’s competition was won by Chris Shield of Buxton, Derbyshire, whose Hobbit-inspired hideaway was described by Mr Wilcox as “brilliantly creative”.