Running courses in your Shed

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    Laura Winkley

    A space to discuss running courses in your Men’s Shed as a way of fundraising.

    Gabby H

    I was just checking to see what there was on the site. I’m surprised to see a woman doing a post. There is a shed in my area – it has taken years to happen and although I offered to help I was told volunteers were not needed and anyway I was a woman – this by a woman. Now the shed has opened I found it difficult to get info but finally found out wen it operates. Again I offered my help in doing ‘committee’ type stuff. Again it has been made clear that I am not welcome. Someone seems to have managed to get put in charge and they also seem to be in charge of who is let in and when. I guess it’s not the sort of organisation I want to be part of.


    There are many Men’s Sheds in the UK with female members, but most Men’s Sheds exist for the benefits they bring to men’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s really down to each individual Shed whether they invite women, or have separate days for women to join in. One of the best things about Men’s Sheds is they facilitate conversation about subjects that men might usually find difficult to talk about. Some men find it easier to open up when it’s just men, but that’s not always the case.

    Hope this helps!

    Gabby H

    I know the concepts the organisation is based on – I’m one of the people who refer men to things like this! I also work on the principal of community groups being roots up – where people are invited and they form their own organisation with the help of one or two staff (or volunteers) who know the technical /legal stuff. It’s a shame where I am that from the get go it has been from the top down, lots of hierarchies and people being ‘allowed’ to join.

    Brian Sketchley

    Pity you are not in our area (Derbyshire) we welcome ladies to our group and I always refer to “Men in Sheds” as a generic tiltle for the concept not just a man thing. I’m afraid in my experiance many people get carried away when put in a position of power particularly if they have not had a very important or responsible job in their life. We have had members resign because they couldn’t get their own way, often they were not looking after the Sheds best interests, only their own. I hope you are able to break down the reluctance in your area to open the shed to a wider audiance.



    Hi Gabby,

    We too welcome all participants be they of whatever gender but as Chippenham Shed have said, its a movement aimed primarily at men. I would draw parallels with the Women’s Institute; men can join, but its primarily aimed at women.



    I live in Bristol and probably have more women in my shed despite me being a man but that maybe because I run a cafe inviting conversation on chronic pain and art- I also invite people to make music and anything else in my shed/garage. However for the men I have had drop in – loneliness generated by chronic pain conditions such as ME was common. And I am always seeking balance in an environment- I don’t want to create another boys only club – men need to engage with women with common interests to really deal with loneliness. Sometimes pain is what binds us.
    How people are involving strangers as volunteers is absolutely key – good communication is paramount and does not require petty power mongering I agree – that’s very sad and damages the purpose.

    I would like to run courses as I think my garage is very accessible-so is there anyone doing that which is what this thread was about orginally I think.

    Gabby H

    Thanks for the replies. I’m still looking for a welcoming place to have a conversation over a cuppa – pity I’m not near Derbyshire or Bristol. Regarding courses. Yes absolutely run courses. You could do all sorts. It’s amazing how little basic DIY people seem to know these days: wiring a plug, to putting up a shelf. You could also run a ‘repair café’. I’m sure all sorts of people would be interested. It’s a way of publicising the shed and getting the local community involved. Also a possible fundraiser – ask for donations if you don’t want to charge even a lo cost fee, sell stuff that you’ve made. Also don’t just think about DIY type courses – intro to Yoga, mindfulness, dealing with pain, basic cooking skills – things that would be supportive of shedders. I have a great contact re Yoga for anyone in the Essex/Herts area. Ordinary bloke very keen on teaching everyday yoga to everyday people particularly the well being side of it.


    Gabby, where are you? BlewShed in Oxfordshire welcomes all genders.
    More on topic, what courses have Sheds found the most popular?


    Man or woman shouldn’t matter. Yes, the site aims at men, but if women find their selves here then so be it.


    We named our shed “KHL Community in sheds”
    As the name Men in sheds can create a barrier.
    WRVS had this issue they rebranded to RVS.

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