What is a Men’s Shed? This description is from the UK Men’s Sheds Association website.
“Men’s Sheds (or Sheds) are similar to garden sheds – 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.”
There are just over 700 sheds either open or in development in the UK – you can find the nearest one to you here. The frequent reference on the UKMSA website to mental health and well-being which derive from men’s sheds is without doubt a good outcome. They estimate that some 14,000 families benefit from sheds.
But I have a slightly different take on it – which may or may not be a good thing. Firstly I find the Men’s Shed moniker unecessarily restrictive, perhaps even offputting.
Beyond that I think we have for a long time neglected the skills for repair. But a lot of (usually) older folk have just those skills and would welcome the chance to pass them on. Whether anyone is interested in receiving them is a very good question, but as with so many other things, I can think of only one way to find out.
So what I would like to do is set up a Repair Shed