MEN’S SHEDS MOVEMENT GROWS BY 66% IN 3 YEARS AS 500TH SHED OPENS

UK Men’s Sheds Association targets further growth as it also unveils partnership with woodcare specialist Ronseal.

The life-changing Men’s Sheds movement is continuing to go from strength to strength with the opening of the 500th UK Men’s Shed in the village of Blewbury, Oxfordshire.

Having first launched in the UK in 2013, Men’s Sheds have grown in popularity to become invaluable community spaces for people to connect, create and have fun.

They host similar activities to garden sheds – including woodwork, DIY and general making – but for the purpose of bringing groups of people together. Indeed the community ethos behind Men’s Sheds has been highly effective at reducing loneliness and social isolation in areas right across the country, including among the elderly and retired.

A survey of shed members by the UK Men’s Sheds Association, the support body for Men’s Sheds in the UK, found that 97% reported making new friends as a result of regular attendance at a Men’s Shed, while 89% reported a decrease in depression. The association also reports that the volunteering value of ‘shedders’ supporting the local community each year is an estimated £10.5m.

The opening of the 500th shed reflects the significant growth of the movement in the UK, which has seen the number of sheds increase by 66% in the last three years, having previously reached the 300 mark in May 2016.

The UK Men’s Sheds Association, reports that sheds now provide a welcoming social space for around 12,000 members right across the country, from Helmsmade in the Highlands of Scotland to St Austell in Cornwall, and all major cities in between.

BlewShed in Blewbury has become the 500th UK Men’s Shed after co-founder Mike Magnay was inspired to hear about the work of a Men’s Shed in Southampton while on holiday.

Mike, 74 and a retired electrical engineer, decided that he and other members of the community in Blewbury could benefit from such a space.

Having gauged interest from local people, he worked with the parish council to secure access to a former scouts’ hall which has now been converted into a shed complete with workbenches and tools donated by members of the community.

Mike says: “When I heard about the Men’s Sheds movement I immediately thought it was a brilliant way of bringing people together around something creative and fun.

“Men aren’t always the best at making new friends or talking to one another, but get them around a piece of wood or a DIY task and it’s amazing how they to open up. We’ve had a great response to the new shed, with over 30 members already signed up.”

In addition to the opening of the 500th shed, the UK Men’s Sheds Association is excited to announce a new partnership with British woodcare specialist Ronseal.

The partnership includes sponsorship by Ronseal of a series of DIY skills sessions at The Manchester Men’s Shed in Moss Side, beginning this summer. The plan is to roll out the skills sessions to more sheds in future, helping to add further momentum to the already fast-growing Men’s Sheds movement.

Charlie Bethel, Chief Officer of UK Men’s Sheds Association, said: “The opening of the 500th shed is a real cause for celebration. Since the Men’s Sheds movement began in the UK, we’ve seen sheds right across the country make a huge difference to the lives of their members and the communities they support. The new partnership with Ronseal is further evidence that the Men’s Sheds movement is going from strength to strength as we continue to bring in new partners and offer new skills and services through Men’s Sheds.”


Veterans Woodcraft Needs Your Vote!

Veterans Woodcraft deliver woodcraft courses to help people battling with suicidal thoughts, PTSD, mental health issues and physical disability, mainly caused by military service.

Though the skills learned and experiences gained through creating items with wood, veterans and civilians are supported to rebuild their lives, increase confidence and develop resilience to support active and fulfilling lives.

The People’s Projects gives you the chance to decide how National Lottery funding can make a difference in your local community.

To vote for Veterans Woodcraft visit
www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/projects/view/woodcraft-warriors and vote for #woodcraftwarriers

Voting is open between 1st and 15th April 2019.


Men’s Sheds are good for your health!

Between November 2017 and June 2018 UKMSA carried out a survey to discover the impact Sheds can have for Shedders, and what difference they are making across the UK. We also asked what Shedders thought were important topics for UKMSA to include at ShedFest 2018, taking place Saturday 17th November at University of Worcester Arena. For more details about ShedFest, click here.

With over 470 Sheds now open, 130 Sheds in development and an estimated 11,000 Shedders, it is clear from the growth of Men’s Sheds and the results of our survey that Men’s Sheds have a really positive impact on the well being of the many Shedders and volunteers who are now involved and the communities they support.

There has been a 47% growth of Sheds in just 2 years, and the health benefits Shedders told us about included alleviation of anxiety, decreases in depression and feelings of loneliness lessened.

Sheds are not just good for individuals, they’re great ways to meet new people and make new friendships, helping Shedders feel more engaged and connected to their communities. With an estimated £10.5 million worth of volunteering hours in community, the benefits go beyond the Shed and into their local communities.

During ShedFest 2018 we’ll be sharing in more detail the difference Shedders have said that being involved in Men’s Sheds makes to their lives, and we’ll be sending the information to member Sheds so they can use it to support funding bids and their case for support from their local councils and communities.

Our survey also highlighted that professional health groups and the NHS are finally recognising these benefits to lifestyle health – with Sheds now receiving social prescribing requests.

To support Sheds deciding if social prescribing is right for them, we will be hosting a workshop looking at what ‘Social Prescribing’ is, and how Sheds can get involved if they choose to. For more details about the workshops at ShedFest, visit https://menssheds.org.uk/shedfest-2018-workshops-2/.

If you have any comments or thoughts about the role of Sheds and social prescriptions, why not share your views on our forum topic – https://menssheds.org.uk/forums/topic/social-prescribing-and-sheds/.



Shed of the Year 2018

UKMSA are pleased to open nominations for Shed of the Year

UKMSA recognise Sheds that make a difference in their local communities, members and exemplify the Shed movement. To qualify to be a Shed of the Year, you must be a current member of UKMSA.

Tell us your story

  • Are you changing your community?
  • Are you making a difference locally?
  • Are you innovative?
  • Do you transform lives?
  • Are you up-cycling or repurposing materials and products?
  • How does your Shed make a difference?

If you can answer any of these questions, we invite you to nominate your Shed for Shed of the Year.

Click here to download a nomination form

To qualify to be a Shed of the Year, you must be a current member of UKMSA.

Nominations must be received by 5pm on Monday 29th October, 2018 to admin@ukmsa.org.uk

ShedFest 2018 – save the date!

ShedFest 2018 has been announced by UKMSA.

The all-things-Shed-related event will be taking place on Saturday 17th November 2018 at University of Worcester Arena between 9am and 5.30pm.

The UKMSA team are still finalising the programme and confirming which exhibitors are attending. Follow this link for more information about ShedFest 2018. You can also register your interest for the exciting event with our Membership and Support Officer Laura, by emailing admin@ukmsa.org.uk, or calling 0300 772 9626.


Linking up with Men’s Pharmacy for World Suicide Prevention Day

On Monday the 10th of September the world comes together to support mental health for World Suicide Prevention Day. Last year 5,821 people took their own lives, and with 75% of those being men, this strikes a sombre chord with us.

To show our support, we’ve linked up with Mens Pharmacy, an online pharmacy based in Wilsmlow, and they’re donating 15% of their days orders to UK Mens Sheds Association. Robbie Toan, Managing Director of Mens Pharmacy ‘Male suicide is one of the biggest killers in society, so we’re delighted to be able to show our commitment to improving mental health, by supporting a fantastic charity that supports Men in an innovative way’.

Please show your support for this great day by tweeting #WSPD18, or donating to a charity that supports mental health.


New National Shed Development Manager

 Kate on a recent Shed visit

UKMSA are delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Gordon as our National Shed Development Manager.

The National Shed Development Manager will manage our Ambassador Programme and have three principal areas of engagement:

  • To support the growth of Sheds and participants in Sheds;
  • To support the recruitment and development of volunteers throughout the Shed network; and
  • To assist in making Sheds sustainable through our networks, promoting opportunities and developing new partnerships.

Kate joins the team on 20th August 2018 and has already been hard at work with supporting our projects and attending a recent Board and Staff awayday.

Kate comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the third sector and is involved with Rubys Yard in Atherstone, which has started developing a Shed.

Charlie Bethel, Chief Officer of UKMSA welcomed Kate and said, ‘Kate’s experience and passion for the movement is the perfect combination to assist us in achieving our shared aspirations for the Shed movement.  We aim to facilitate the development of positive networks across the UK, grow opportunities and respond to the needs of our members. I am sure you will join me with a massive welcome to Kate.’