An NHS worker from the Isle Of Wight has made it to the finals of Cuprinol Shed Of The Year 2021 – with a magical hideaway at the bottom of her garden.

It provides Diane Goring, from Newport, with a sanctuary to enjoy arts and crafts as a respite from her role as an Older Persons Nurse Consultant.

Starting life as a traditional 8ft x 6ft shed Diane transformed the space with the help of her husband Steve. Dubbed Away With The Fairies it is lit by solar power with bespoke shelving and work units adding to its enchanting interior.

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It is one of 3 finalists in the Unexpected/Unique category. Diane said:

“Everything in the shed is a reflection on my personality. My favourite part of the shed is the aspects of the windows in relation to my garden which were recycled and fitted by my husband, Steve.”

The competition will now see the 22 finalists go ‘shed-to-shed’ across the nine categories. A winner from each will be decided by public vote before a panel of shed experts decide which overall winner will be awarded the giant golden crown.

Alongside eternal shed glory, the overall winner will also receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.

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Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said:

“The past year has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us and, now more than ever, we’re aware of how important the humble shed can be.

“Sheds are not just unloved, brown structures at the bottom of the garden that house tools and household junk, they are vital spaces where you can go to relax, work on a project or burn off some steam.

“The high-calibre entries this year really prove why we set up the competition in the first place – to highlight the valuable role sheds can play in our lives, in our businesses and the positive impact they have on our wellbeing.”

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Kirsty Woodbine, Marketing Manager for Cuprinol, added:

“We are overwhelmed by the amount and quality of entries we’ve received this year.

“The sheds were of such a high standard that narrowing them down to just 22 was an incredibly difficult task.

“The level of innovation, imagination and creativity we’ve seen has been incredible, as has the number of people using their sheds as dedicated spaces to help others in their community. This year’s contest has been truly life affirming.”

Last year’s shed-building superstar Daniel Holloway walked away with the coveted title of Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 after wowing judges with his nature-inspired refuge Bedouin Tree-Shed, built around two tree trunks in his back garden.

Ashley Bates took home the competition’s first ever Special Commendation in 2020, after setting up The Shed School to help educate children while lockdown closed classrooms.

Public voting for the 15th annual competition opens on Wednesday, 2nd June and will close on Monday 12th  July. Check out all of the 22 finalists and cast your vote here.

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