...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).
We have appointed Officials, formed our Committee, opened a bank account, drawn up our Constitution, Code of Conduct, Membership Application Form, set up this website, organised a dedicated telephone number and drafted our Health and Safety Regulations, so we are well underway. However, many Men's Shed start ups struggle with the first hurdle - a venue. The Wells-next-the-Sea Men's Shed Group were generously offered some outbuildings within the grounds of The Wells Community Hospital. Initially, the 'Old Morgue' was proposed but following discussions an adjacent 'double garage block' had been suggested. A lesson leaned from discussions with fellow Shedders is that once equipment is installed you quickly run out of safe working space. So size does matter! With this in mind the Committee have investigated other options and have reached an understanding to place a Portakabin in the grounds of, and adjacent to, the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway. 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 - everyone is welcome members and non-members alike - the kettle is always on!
We are not alone.......
Wells-next-the-Sea Men's Shed is one of a number of Men's Sheds in Norfolk and we are exploring how we can form a network for the Shedders to share tools, skills and general knowhow - here are some other Sheds in Norfolk: Norwich Men's Shed - www.norwichmensshed.org.uk Kings Lynn Men's Shed - Facebook - @kingslynnmensshed Downham Market Men's Shed - Rose Waterman 07450655538 Sheringham Men's Shed - Facebook - @SheringhamShed Fakenham Men's Shed - www.mens-shed-fakenham.weebly.com Dereham Men's Shed - www.derehammensshed.org.uk Wymondham - Men's Shed- Facebook - @theshedwym