...taking shape the Wells-next-the-Sea Men's Shed at the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway
What is a Men's Shed?
They're community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together. They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun.
Men’s Sheds are a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending. The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature while Men’s Sheds are the opposite. They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter. Sheds are whatever the members (Known as Shedders) want them to be. Although labelled sheds, they often aren’t sheds at all. They can be empty offices, Portakabins, warehouses, garages, and in at least one case, a disused mortuary. Some Sheds are purpose built workshops, but they rarely start out that way. Many don’t have premises at all in the beginning and instead form a group that meets regularly for the social connection, company and camaraderie until they can find somewhere to kit out with tools. Many Sheds get involved in community projects too – restoring village features, helping maintain parks, and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need. Activities in Sheds vary greatly, but you can usually find woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics, model buildings or even car building in a typical Shed. Sheds typically attract older men, but many have younger members and women too. Whatever the activity, the essence of a Shed is not a building, but the connections and relationships between its members.
The Wells-next-the-Sea Men's Shed Project
Starting in October 2018, a small but enthusiastic group, has been meeting under the guidance of Stephen Hurley, a Development Officer in the Adult Social Services Department at Norfolk County Council to try and get the project under way. So, it's still early days. To help communicate amongst ourselves we have launched this website to keep everyone up to date with news and developments.
There is a lot to do and we are taking the lead from other similar initiates, using a template of how to go about it provided by The UK Mens Shed Association (Click here for more details from their website).
It is now 2021 and the Wells Mens Shed project has grown into an active group of Shedders, fully integrated into the local Community. Like many Community Groups we shut down during the Covid lockdown but are happy to report we have reopened under Government guideline rules. So for the time being we are open for members only (and prospective members, of course) and we start the big tidy up to get our house on order before welcoming the public back. To follow our progress and hear our news please read our News Blog which lists our open general meeting dates where we discuss any issues as well as general progress.