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UK Men’s Sheds Association

A Men’s Shed is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A Men’s Shed offers this to a group of such men where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. They are places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction. A place of leisure where men come together to work.

A Shed’s activities usually involve making or mending in wood (e.g. carpentry, joinery, turning, carving, whittling, marquetry, furniture renovation) and may include activities as varied as bike repair, gardening, vehicle repair, tool renovation, upholstery, boat renovation, model engineering, milling, turning in plastics, etc. Reclamation, reuse and restoration will feature strongly – and some say that is true of the men too! Although Sheds mostly attract older men, some have included men of any age, women and young people. Whichever activities are pursued the essence of a Shed is not a building, which some don’t have, but the network of relationships between the members.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

Promotes and supports the development of Men’s Sheds which are workspaces where people make and mend whatever they can in their own time and at own pace. They are the ‘shed in the garden’ where what happens is what the members want to do, but larger and usually operating on a ‘drop in’ basis.

DEVELOPED BY:  Mike Jenn

WEBSITE:  www.ukmsa.org.uk

STARTED:  2013

OBJECTIVE(S):

To enable anyone who wishes to be able to join a Shed.

TARGET POPULATION:

Sheds are mainly aimed at retired/redundant men but can be for over 18’s (younger if there is an inter-generational program) and include women.

BENEFITS/OUTCOMES:

Guys (inc. those who are isolated/lonely) get to meet each other over work-tasks, and form a community; they talk and share experience, skills, information; they learn, and are often exploring new ideas, methods, activities; there are health benefits inc a 5% improvement in mental health compared with inactive men; members often volunteer to help community organisations with things they need made/mended; materials get re-used.

PROGRAM GUIDE:  See site

OTHER SUPPORT MATERIAL:  See site

COSTS/FUNDING:  Minimal

TRAINING:  Organization trained newcomers

PROMOTION:

The initiative has attracted media attention, including participating in a BBC Breakfast Show, regional radio, Guardian, magazines, social media.

POLICIES FOR REPLICATING:  Open

Please complete our online Program User Form if you are interested in trying out this program and need more information. You will be contacted shortly by a member of the Pass It On Network team after you submit the completed form.