Did you know there are already a number of Men’s Sheds regional networks around the country? UKMSA’s Chair Mike Brading, Director of Services Anne Oxley and RVS Shed Project Manager Jo Phillips went along to the Southern Network meeting on 6 March in Hampshire, attended by 54 people, the best turn out of Shedders they had ever had!
Chaired by network co-ordinator Steve Redrup (Portsmouth Shed) we heard from hosts Eastleigh Shed how they found their first premises and then just grew and grew! Mike gave a presentation on UKMSA’s plans for the future and asked for volunteers to help by joining our new IT Shed, offering any editorial expertise or generally coming forward. Jo explained about the support and advice she can give to Sheds and talked about the Asda grant fund (now closed). Brian Cooke (Andover Shed and UKMSA trustee) asked for volunteers to help with this year’s Car Fest and with a Hampshire County Council food project, which Sheds can get involved with (with a financial contribution available to the Shed). A representative from Hugo Fox showed Shedders how they could provide free help with building a Shed website, including advice on Donate buttons, and the 3 hour meeting came to an end with a raffle generously sponsored by Tool Lane (www.toollane.co.uk).
There was strong agreement from all the Shedders that the network is of great value for meeting other Shedders, hearing about what other Sheds are doing, asking questions and generally having a good time over lunch and a cuppa.
The Southern Network rotates its quarterly meetings around the area, each hosted by a different Shed, and also has its own website which generates a weekly newsletter and has lots of useful videos and other items: http://www.smsn.byethost7.com/news/index.html?i=1
Do you belong to another regional Men’s Sheds Network? UKMSA would love to hear from you and would like to send a representative along to find out more and to share UKMSA’s plans for the future. Please contact UKMSA’s Director of Services: firstname.lastname@example.org