The idea of creating a place where older men can meet, socialise and, if they want to, work alongside each other comes from Australia. With typical Aussie directness they call them Men’s Sheds, they now have over 3500 in use throughout Australia. You can find out more by going to http://www.mensshed.org/home/.aspx
Men in Shed's in Shropshire "MISIS" was set up in 2014 to help interested men to make contact with their nearest shed. In those areas where there is no local Men’s Shed MISIS can help get a group of men together to create and run their own "Men’s Shed". In the last 4 years MISIS has helped six local groups to open their own Shed, these are Market Drayton, Sansaw Nr Hadnall Shrewsbury, Newport, Oswestry, Whitchurch and Madeley. Two more groups, in Ellesmere and Cleobury Mortimer are making good progress in opening their own Shed which we hope will be up and running very soon.
We regularly get calls from men in other parts of Shropshire about Sheds locall to themselves, if you are interested in attending a Shed local to you or if you would like to be involved in opening a Shed local to you please let us know and we will put you in touch with others in your own area who have shown an interest. Once there are a few men or even one man interested MISIS will help arrange a meeting local to you to help get things going.
What is a Men’s Shed?
A Men's Shed is a place where, usually but not restricted to older men who can meet like minded people and work on their own project, get involved in a community project, help pass on or learn skills that they may have be it anything from marquetry to traction engines. All this as well as making friends and enjoying one another’s company in a safe and pleasant environment.
In a Shed men find the freedom to work on something at their own pace with no pressures or to simply to be there to drink tea and talk.
What do men do in a Men’s Shed?
- undertake some activity in the company of others
- spend time with like minded men with whom they can work and talk
- participate in some joint endeavour
- find friendship and companionship
- provide help and support to themselves and others
- make use of workshop or other facilities
- learn new skills or revive old ones
- make a contribution to the community
- have fun
Existing Sheds have found that it is the enthusiasm for the objectives rather than specific skills that are essential, as is the camaraderie of the Shed itself. It is a place where men identify a task and tackle it. This may mean that an individual will be able to use the skills he already has or that he is willing to learn something new.
It is not just about practical things, social activities are also welcomed. The health benefits of Men’s Sheds are significant; the men who become involved identify it as making a big contribution to their sense of good health and wellbeing
Who runs a Men’s Shed?
A Shed is run and controlled by the men who are members of the Shed; it is the men themselves that set the atmosphere and welcome anyone who wants to join.
MISIS will help with all the aspects of bringing the men together, either through helping set up new Sheds or informing individuals the wherabouts of an existing Shed.
Can you help MISIS?
If you are an individual who has no interest in practical skills you are still valuable to us, we still need help setting up new Sheds in the county, come on, it will do you good to get involved. We have plenty to do to make more Sheds a reality and your contribution will be greatly appreciated. To make progress we need a number of individuals who can provide a wide range of skills and experience in developing the organisation. We will work with anyone who shares our views of what a Shed should be. If you have governance skills, management or administrative skills that you would like to use to help MISIS to develop Men’s Sheds in the county please contact us, there is as much or as little work to be done to keep you interested and satisfied that you are making a real difference to the physical and mental health of older men in Shropshire.
If you are a commercial organisation, whilst we have support from various organisations, we need many more. We welcome any surplus or usable scrap materials that you may have and which we can work with to either improve the buildings we use or to make things either for ourselves to sell and raise funds for the Shed, or for other charitable organisations. If you have a surplus demountable building that we could move please contact us.
Who can join a Shed?
Membership is open to anyone who is happy and willing to share his skills and experience for the good of the community as a whole. The Shed is aimed mostly at men but if they share the same ideas women are welcome.
Who is in charge?
The members of the Shed run the Shed and it's the men themselfes that decide what is done in the Shed.
Is there a member subscription?
Each Shed has different subscription charges, its up to the members of each shed to decide what this subscription will be bearing in mind that rent, electricity, insurance, water etc will have to be paid every year. For instance at Sansaw Shed the subscription is £24 per year. They also ask the members that if they are working on their own personal project that they put a £ or 2 in the box to cover overheads, also if they use any materials that have been donated to the Shed they make a small contribution for these. Each Shed has to raise funds to continue to run the Shed, these funds are also raised through annual subscriptions, making things that can be sold at fairs,car boot sales, grants from local councils, wherever.
Where does the equipment come from?
There are a number of supporters who are prepared to donate some equipment. Many Sheds find that they are supported by donations of tools or materials, also many of the members will bring some of their own tools and if asked will allow these to be used by others as long as they are respected and returned to the owner in the same condition as when borrowed.
Are there any other Sheds in the UK?
Yes there over 400 Men’s Sheds in the UK and this number is growing all the time. If you want to know more go to http://menssheds.org.uk/
Do Men’s Sheds work?
The emphatic answer from the growing number of Shed members around the world is YES.