Shed Loads of Happiness

What makes us happy is often connected to the objects, stories, experiences and memories that we feel, or that remind us of positive moments in our lives. Shed Loads of Happiness aims to explore this idea in a post-Covid Sutton, by directly connecting and engaging with Sutton's communities in a variety of ways.

Starting in February 2023, the project had two strands that ran over 6 months. Documentation and material relating to activities during the Shed Loads of Happiness project will be deposited in the Borough’s Archives, therefore helping to ensure our archives are inclusive, relevant and representative of all voices within Sutton.

Shed Loads of Happiness

Eight community groups received funding to provide facilitated activities exploring the idea of happiness with their members. Awarded following an open call process, a core aim of this element of the project is to engage with groups that represent residents from diverse cultures and backgrounds in Sutton, with a particular focus on hearing unheard stories or stories that are underrepresented in the borough’s collections, archives, and programming. The main output for each group is to curate their ‘Shed of Happiness’ as part of a display on Sutton High Street for the Sutton Steam Fair 2023.

Following this, an exhibition reflecting on the work of eight local community groups who took part in Shed Loads of Happiness, a project exploring the wellbeing and happiness of Sutton residents took place at Whitehall Museum. Each group is highlighted in turn; every two weeks swapping some of the content in order to display the work of each of these wonderful community groups. Listed in the order they are displayed in the exhibition, the groups involved in this project are:
  • Time Out Youth Project: 27th July - 5th August
  • Sutton Music Trust: 10th - 19th August
  • ACHA - African & Caribbean Heritage Association: 24th August - 2nd September
  • Joyful Moment (Sutton HongKongers): 7th - 16th September
  • Men in Sheds (Community Action Sutton): 21st - 30th September
  • Sutton Mental Health Foundation: 5th - 14th October
  • Speak Up Sutton (Advocacy for All): 19th - 28th October
  • MASS (Malayalee Association Sutton Surrey): 2nd - 11th November

Stories from the Shed

Stories from the Shed asked creatives to put forward proposals for a total of 16 commissions, which explore the history and heritage, and potential future, of STEAM in the borough. This was aimed at performers, entertainers and artists. Over the summer months 32 a range of fantastic events for all ages took place at micro venues across the borough - wooden sheds at Little Holland House and Whitehall Historic House, the bandstand at Wallington Library, the outdoor space at Phoenix Library, and the marquee at Honeywood Museum.
Shed Loads of Happiness
Shed Loads of Happiness
Shed Loads of Happiness

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