When is a shed not a shed? When it’s a community shed of course! As more men up and down the country [and not just men, but mostly] meet up regularly in a place to call their own, the concept of ‘Men in Sheds’ is fast gaining popularity. Maybe they’ve retired, or have a lot of spare time on their hands for one reason or another. Perhaps they are facing the scary prospect of staring at the four walls 24/7, or the wife wants a bit of peace. There are any number of reasons which prompt a visit to a community shed, and many voices that will claim it is a life changing experience.
The Royal Voluntary Service is aware of the benefits of this type of project, and works to support the setting up and running of men’s sheds. Grants are sometimes available to get schemes off the ground in an effort to encourage activity amongst older men. Listen to what the happy ‘shedders’ at Bromley and Greenwich have to say about their beloved shed.
The majority of Men’s Sheds are user led, meaning the members run it themselves, and maybe plan meetings, or group projects to benefit the local community for instance. The ‘shed’ is actually sometimes a village hall, community centre or donated premises frequented by productive ‘Shedders’. All manner of things are created in these sheds such as bird boxes, planters, ornaments and pieces of art. Mending, repairing and model making are all on the agenda.
The testament of men who visit their local Men’s Shed shows just how much they are needed, and it’s no wonder they are described as ‘life changing’.
Leigh Hackspace is a converted Lancashire cotton mill, which plays host to makers, artists, crafters, designers, fixers, nerds and geeks! This men’s shed or Hackspace, is frequented by enthusiastic and talented members, and is very welcoming to those from Leigh and the surrounding area wishing to partake in the fun. Visitors can find out about things like how to master the eternal puzzle of computers, which as we all know have minds of their own. Inspiration, ideas, support, equipment, materials, a community spirit and great coffee are all waiting at Hackspace, and all you need to bring is a ‘can do’ attitude. They say they are ‘always looking for new members to join their friendly community’, so don’t spare the horses if you live in the vicinity.
Any men looking for a pastime and some contact with like minded souls in and around Ashton Under Lyme will land on their feet when they discover’ The Shed Project’. Age UK Tameside invite mature men within the borough to go along and engage in pleasurable and practical pursuits. They offer the type of atmosphere which nurtures friendships and a place to practice hobbies, share interests help with community based projects and importantly ‘have a giggle’. On the menu are big helpings of photography, computer skills, woodworking, marquetry, furniture renovation, pyrography, beekeeping, family history, gardening, cycle repair, walking, and football The sessions allow people to develop new skills, and are fun, informal and free for men over 55+. This shed even appeared in the Tameside Reporter, which talked about their input at the Tameside Arts open day. Other participants at the open day included Manchester Airport Choir, Bollywood dancers, West African drummers and the local fire brigade.