Men’s Shed come to East Sussex!
Towards the end of last year a group of (mainly) men met on a chilly morning to talk sheds! Not only the shape and size of them, but also what goes on inside and by whom. This was the first meeting of the Men’s Shed Network in Wealden set up in response to a growing interest in the idea of a space where men can do practical hobbies together.
The Men’s Shed concept started in the 1980s and 90s in Australia to offer men the opportunity to ‘potter’ much as they would in their own garden shed. The difference being that they would not be alone. The ability for men to share their skills, learn from others, undertake small and not so small projects in the company of other men is central to the philosophy of the Men’s Shed movement. As a result the idea has spread and, according to the UK Men’s Shed Association, there are now over 400 men’s sheds up and running in the UK.
Action in rural Sussex, through their Village Agents Team and with funding from East Sussex County Council’s chances4change project, supported the start-up of a new shed by Vitality Villages in the Hellingly and Herstmonceux area of Wealden.
They also became aware of other rural communities who were considering setting up their own sheds. Conversations with these separate projects led to the idea of an informal get together so that they could share ideas, experience and, where appropriate, resources.
With the idea of possible sheds being explored in Seddlescombe, Ninfield, Heathfield, Mayfield and Forest Row, the network revealed a great range of skills, knowledge and enthusiasm plus a generosity of spirit in sharing these with each other.
As those who came found this shared forum helpful, another meeting is planned for the spring – so if you are thinking of setting up a Men’s Shed or like the idea of one happening in your community, please contact us for more information.
Laura Heales Village Agents
Action in rural Sussex