The Dorchester Men’s Shed was founded in the spring of 2015 by Graeme Trinder and was formally opened by the Mayor of Dorchester on the 16th June 2015. We are set up as a Community Interest Company so that we are acceptable for charities to give us donations. The downside is that we have to pay Corporation Tax on any annual profits which means that end of year budgeting is done carefully.
Men’s Sheds provide a space that replaces garden sheds which, in the modern world, are being lost through downsizing or moving into flats. A Shed is a space where the members can come and meet over a cup of tea and work with wood whilst at the same time learn skills from other members.
Our workshop is in a space on the Kingston Maurward College campus. Although small, which limits the number who can be working in the Shed, we do have great equipment: 2 woodworking lathes – morticer – disc sander – belt sander – band saw – thicknesser – 2 pillar drills – chop saw – table saw – dust extractors and most important a KETTLE.
We currently have 24 members who normally pay £40 per annum membership, but this year it has been suspended.
Initially during Covid we were able to remain open by limiting the numbers in the Shed to four members but recently, with the College locking down, we have been closed. During this shutdown two members have been completing an order for a pair of barn owl boxes in their own garage workshops. I have, at home, completed the remaking of Kingston Maurward’s lectern.
I started the Shed when I was living in a flat and saw a programme on Channel 4. I canvassed for members and eventually found a workshop but. after two years, had to relocate our current site. During the set up we managed to raise £2,500 in grants from various organizations including one of the Dorchester Town Council’s funds.
We are currently working on an oak notice board for West Stafford Church and will be getting orders for a local village hall notice board and a new gate. Kingston Maurward also wants four more surrounds for large planters. These tasks will provide enough work for the next six months during which we are in discussions with our landlords for a larger space for our Shed to which we hope to move in about 12 months.
I am pleased to say that our projected ongoing work will secure our finances for the next year.
Graeme Trinder, Director & Founder, Dorchester Men’s Shed C.I.C.
Web: www.dorchestermensshed.org.uk Tel: 01305 267722