Elmbridge Men in Sheds

Surrey

Your story

A community space for men to connect, converse, create and have fun.

Group introduction

Men in Sheds is a project aimed at helping older men to learn new skills in retirement while also building social connections and overcoming loneliness. It greatly benefits the wider community, too, as most of the items created by the team, mainly from wood, are passed on to local charities or community groups.

Our gatherings help us to regain a sense of personal identity that can often be lost in retirement. And there are other rewards, not only from seeing designs scribbled on paper gradually “come to life” but also from knowing we are helping each other. The grandchildren of one of our wheelchair-bound members can’t say enough about what the project has done for their grandfather.

We were formed in November 2015 and are run by a volunteer shed leader who is skilled and knowledgeable in woodwork.

The group meets twice a week in a purpose built shed that has been provided by the local authority. We do however have to fund all the ongoing work from donations or funds we raise from selling items we produce.

While we will work with any group in the area who need our skills we have paticularly helped a local community allotment, Thames Ditton in Blomm and the RHS.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

We make considerable use of recycled wood, often breaking up pallets and removing the nails and screws that hold them together. However a number of our team are now at the stage where they are keen to take on more adventurous and detailed projects, particularly with a view to finishing them in a more elegant and decorative way. If we could afford to buy timber of a better prepared, larger or smoother nature, we would be able to make items of much higher quality and increase the skills of our members.

This would enable us to take on the more challenging projects that we are being asked to undertake for some of the community groups.

As you can imagine, we get through large quantities of screws, glue, paint, sandpaper and filler.

"Fantastic support from Men In Sheds for the Thames Ditton in Bloom making and repairing all our planters. Great comments about the huge bug houses at the station! - Tricia Bland Councillor and Organiser Thames Ditton in Bloom

Twenty five planters in a week. You are all wonderful! Thank you so much, it’s hugely appreciated! - Alana Carma manager RHS Schools I Can Grow Project"

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