Support & cookery skills at The Sharing Shed

Summary of idea

Thurso Community Development Trust have been operating the Sharing Shed based at Thurso Youth Club since July 2020. The Sharing Shed is a Community Larder/Fridge. We take food which is surplus and would otherwise be going to waste and share it with the community. The Sharing Shed is free for anyone to access and is open from 9am - 5pm daily, currently operated by a team of community volunteers.

We actively recruit volunteers for the Sharing Shed who are regular users of the service with lived experience of food insecurity so that their views and experiences shape how we deliver the service. We place an emphasis in providing dignity in accessing food provision so that no one feels worse in themselves for having to access emergency food, hence why the Sharing Shed bases all promotion around the saving of food waste in the Thurso community rather than emergency food provision. The Sharing Shed has around 75 users per week. 

We are seeking funding to be able to extend provision at the Sharing Shed. While we already provide information in the Shed for those who are struggling to access support such as Highland Council Welfare Officers, Citizen's Advice and Home Energy Scotland, we have seen a large increase in need during the cost of living crisis. We need greater resource to be able to ensure that we are offering a full holistic service at the Sharing Shed and to be able to promote that better within the local community. We are also now finding that due to the cost of living crises, surplus food is just not enough to cover the supply that is needed at particular pinch points such as school holidays. 

Food in the Sharing Shed is adhoc and frequently we find that people may not know how to cook all of the food on offer or have equipment with which to cook. We see basic cooking skills as a key barrier in food provision. 

The funding therefore would enable us to produce greater materials, signage and resources which direct people to further assistance which may be needed during the cost of living crises and also enable us to do pop-up cooking sessions at the Shed demonstrating how to cook with products in the shed of lesser-known ingredients. We would also be looking to create a recipe book of common ingredients found in the Sharing Shed. To do this we need staff and resource funding.

Amount requested 

£3,000 (the total amount available for all ideas is £32,000)

Name of organisation

Thurso Community Development Trust

Where this will take place


Why the contribution is important

Each application for this fund is to meet the criteria set out by the project Steering Group. More information about the project and the Steering Group is available here

The idea will support the following broad theme(s) to make a difference locally:

  • Poverty and inequality - including tackling cost of living, fuel poverty and transport: Reduce the harms caused by poverty and inequality, and improve dignity for anyone experiencing poverty.


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by InsightEngagement_PoliceScotland on November 09, 2022 at 05:49PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 37 votes


  • Posted by Iggy November 28, 2022 at 21:37

    A very valuable resource for Thurso, sharing food out that would otherwise be wasted. People’s dignity is so often forgotten when they need help, especially when accessing help in feeding themselves and family. The sharing shed takes this into account and is open to all regardless.
  • Posted by Fiona November 29, 2022 at 15:22

    An excellent resource for Thurso. Reducing what goes to landfill whilst helping folks in a dignified manner.
    Cookery courses I’m sure would be well attended.
  • Posted by margaretm92000 November 29, 2022 at 16:22

    Great idea, helping loads of locals during these hard times.
  • Posted by Geekaj December 02, 2022 at 19:17

    The Sharing Shed is such a good idea, and a lifesaver when people and their families are finding their financial resources are stretched to the limit at this difficult time. Thank you to all involved in this valuable service.
  • Posted by RogerS December 06, 2022 at 17:24

    Unlike a food bank, which is meant for emergencies and cant be accessed on a regular basis, the Sharing Shed is available to all without question. We all look forward to a time when such initiatives are not needed. Meantime, we need to support this.
  • Posted by JayJay December 07, 2022 at 17:07

    Great idea providing support and confidence in how to best use the food grown
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