No strangers to the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards, The Shed Project Kapiti have this year taken out the education and child/youth development category.

The supreme awards were announced during an awards ceremony held at Te Papa with finalists from each of the five councils in the Wellington region Kāpiti, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wellington present.

Having previously attended the awards ceremony as finalists after being the Kāpiti Rising Star winners in 2015, becoming the overall rising star winner and the Kāpiti Health and Wellbeing winners in 2016, The Shed Project have shown how diverse and successful their services are, this year being a finalist after taking out Kāpiti's education and child/youth development category.

At the awards ceremony from left, Steve Sanderson, Andreas Lepper, Roger Palairet and Denis Wood.
At the awards ceremony from left, Steve Sanderson, Andreas Lepper, Roger Palairet and Denis Wood.

This year The Shed Project went one step further, winning the overall education and child/youth development award beating the other finalists Cannons Creek Boxing Academy from Porirua, the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand from Wellington City, Te Ataarangi Upper Hutt from Upper Hutt and Te Awakairangi Access Trust (TAKA Trust) from Hutt City.

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"We had an email from the council asking to put a nomination in under this category," said founder Denis Wood.

"We were really quite surprised to win it this year seeing as we have quite a lot of diversity in this place.

"We work with mental health, we work with youth, and people with intellectual disabilities.

"For us it's about the three keys — enable, opportunity and inclusion — so we do a number of things to expose our guys to this."

With many a project on the go and providing work experience, skill training, creative art, woodwork skills, kapa haka and percussion programmes, fitness, social and recreational events The Shed Project has their hand in many pies, consequently surprising Denis and the team to come out on top in the education and child/youth development category.

Wellington Airport brand and innovation manager Jo Maxwell said, "The Shed Project Kapiti embody the spirit of the community awards.

"Their dedicated volunteers put their heart and soul into creating a community where everyone's contribution is valued and appreciated.

"Whether it is performing in the Avalanche percussion band, creating in the art studio, building in the workshop or tending to the gardens, this is a place for everyone, irrespective of abilities, to participate and express themselves."

The Shed Project have around 80 people attending their projects and sessions each week with their most recent project being an art exhibition that is currently at Tuatara's The Third Eye on Arthur St in Wellington until December 7.