Men in Sheds West Bletchley

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  • in reply to: Shed start on the Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides #3011

    Great that you are thinking of setting up a Shed in such a remote location – just what the community needs I guess.

    The Royal Voluntary Service have developed a model to help set up Sheds and whilst it doesn’t offer money, it does provide insurance cover for activities and other support to help set up. Contact Kate Gordon, the UKMSA Shed Development Manager – email: to be put in touch. I’m not sure if we have yet got a volunteer Ambassador that covers the Hebrides, but Kate will also put you in touch with your nearest.

    My own Shed was started with a grant from our local Parish Council so it may pay you to ask if they can provide some form of community grant. Does the Scottish Government have any funds that support retaining community organisations in the Highlands and Islands. Worth also approaching organisations like the Lions Club. if all else fails, get your group together, invite contributions and from this, making stuff to sell that will raise money. My own Shed are now self-supporting just from fund raising and weekly contributions towards running costs from members (suggest around £3 – £5 per week) also help. Start small with making bird boxes and garden planters before attempting larger projects and then you will find out if you are all able to work together cohesively. Approach local shipping agents for broken pallets which can be re-purposed and its easy money. We give away our timber off-cuts for fire lighters in return for a Shed donation.

    Another suggestion is set up an online fund raising request. One of the sites on the web which you might consider is

    We also set up an excellent fund raiser through the Easy Fund Raising website. By registering your Shed as a recipient, you encourage Shed supporters to use the online retailer sites accessed through the Easy Fund Raising portal and in return, the Shed receives a small percentage sum. My Shed has so far this year raised £92 and that’s just a couple of us using sites like Amazon, John lewis, e.bookers and many more. Again, its easy free money. I’ve also partnered with a local company that pays money for recycling ink cartridges from printers.

    There’s a lot of truth in the saying that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but I hope I’ve demonstrated its entirely possible to get a start and provide on-going funds. You just have to search around to find sources of funds. Hopefully, these suggestions will help and give you food for thought.

    With best wishes,

    Paul Egerton
    Volunteer Ambassador – North Home Counties Region and Shed Secretary, Men in Sheds West Bletchley

    in reply to: Do you have a visualy impaired person in your Shed? #2923

    There are a number of sources which can be drawn upon, but the Macular Society have offered me a couple of fact sheets which if you email me as above, I’ll willingly share.

    Other suggestions. The obvious one is to have a discussion and see what is possible for the Shed member. Light is of critical importance for someone with sight loss and the provision of extra lighting may help. If sight loss is so bad, it may be necessary for the members to have a work buddy but that will depend upon individual circumstance. if a buddy is appointed, it will be a long-term commitment so its important that the person committing to fulfil this role both understands and accepts this responsibility.

    At Shed Fest 2019, the Blind Woodturner, Chris Fisher, gave an enlightened talk and demonstration. He is totally blind! Watching some of his clips on YouTube might provide you with some clues as to how this skill was mastered despite being blind.

    Sight loss is an area where expertise if it exists has not been documented. The Health and Wellbeing Committee will try and pull something together and publish it on the UKMSA website. But if you have some insights that you think we ought to know about, please do share them.

    Paul Egerton
    Health & Wellbeing Committee

    in reply to: Do you have a visualy impaired person in your Shed? #2909

    This is something that would be of wider interest to all Sheds across UK. I’ll contact the UKMSA Health & Wellbeing team to see if they have any insights. But feel free to contact me directly at to chat offline. Cannot promise a solution, but lets at least ask some questions and see what gets thrown up.

    in reply to: Ambassador Area #2908

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    in reply to: Fund Raising #2859

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    Hi John,

    We should have taken this bilaterally as I might have a solution.

    In our Shed, we have taken to using shiplap fencing cut to size as it is already pressure treated and lasts. For our bird tables, we did initially cover the roof with felt but it didn’t look quite right so we have now gone to the shiplap solution which will require planing along the top edge to get the pieces to butt up together nicely to make a water-tight seal. In addition, we have also used this solution on our wishing well planters but also use a water-based preservative to not only offer the product in a range of colours, but it also provides extra durability as it has to sit out in gardens in all weathers. I’ll send you a picture – its not that good a one, but it will illustrate.

    As a Shed, we have taken a decision not to use plastic for anything unless absolutely necessary.


    in reply to: Running courses in your Shed #2477

    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.


    in reply to: Fund Raising #1947

    Good luck with the market stall. What insurance do you need beyond public liability insurance?

    in reply to: What things is your Shed making? #1667

    Our Shed website is regularly updated with what we have done or things made – visit -

    in reply to: About the Kent Shedder. #1627

    Len, if you send me an email to I will send you back some photographs of stuff that we make for our Parish Council community Christmas Fayre. They include snowmen, reindeer and Bill and Ben Flowerpot men all of which are made or cheaply sourced garden stakes that are turned on the lathe.


    in reply to: insurance #1626

    Around £350 sounds about right but it would depend on what you are insuring, for how much, and what cover you actually need. I would suggest that the minimum cover should have £5 million public liability, fire and theft (possibly at replacement value) and cover for Shed members in case of personal accident whilst in or about Shed premises.

    It was announced at the UKMSA Shed Fest in Worcester that a tender would shortly be issued to find a “preferred” insurance provider to Sheds. This will attract a discount, but Sheds will not be compelled to use that insurer whoever they might be, and it will not be a condition of membership of UKMSA to have to do so. As ever, shop around and if you can obtain similar or better cover elsewhere at a more competitive price, then go for it.

    I would advise that it would be a good idea to provide your insurer with an inventory of your equipment together with its present value and the depreciation factor that is applied (around one-third per year). I created an Excel spreadsheet that allows me to apply the depreciation to come up with a net value of total equipment. It requires you to input the value new, assign an expected life and the depreciation factor to be applied. This calculates the present day value and the date when the equipment should be written off for insurance purposes. I have done the same for donated second hand equipment where it is possible to attribute a value to it by finding similar on the and adding the new and second hand values together to produce a total stock value. This is then provide by email to the insurer.

    in reply to: Making a Shed Website #1624

    If you want something uncomplicated that’s free, consider using I took on our Shed website a few weeks ago, and have quickly built a few pages. Yes, its devoid of whizzy gimmicks, but we don’t need that as we just need something that tells potential funders and supporters who we are and what we do. Through experimentation, I have managed to add a couple of “Widgets” to the front welcome page which links to our Shed Twitter and Facebook pages. If I want to add extra features, I have to purchase it, but so far, the only outlay has been to purchase a domain name which fits out Shed’s name and where we are located.

    We are found at

    in reply to: Use of Facebook and other social media #1564

    Hi NZ, good to hear from the other side of the planet.

    Many Sheds in the UK are lucky if they have in excess of 20 members, but we grow organically and use many mediums to reach our audience. I know that our Facebook feed is read by quite a few who are not members of the Shed but are nonetheless, supporters of what we are doing so I don’t block out friends just hope that they will be encouraged to come along.

    What I have noticed is that Twitter especially is beginning to be an organ for expressing political views which I think is sad and not right as that should be kept personal and out of Sheds. We should be talking about issues about what matter to Sheds not Brexit or stuff like that.

    If you are lucky enough to have someone who can put together a social media presence it is good, but I’m advocating that there should be an “Idiots Guide” for want of some better words, that tells others how to take this forward in the event that the current webmaster is unable to do so as that has been the fall down point of so many Shed attempts at social media.

    in reply to: Gift Aid Recovery #1498

    Its great if all members pay Income Tax, but we have at least four who do not. HMRC guidance is quite clear that in order to be eligible to claim Gift Aid, “For a charity to claim Gift Aid on your donation, you must have paid UK Income or Capital Gains Tax that financial year. The tax you pay must be equivalent to the amount of Gift Aid the charity will reclaim on your donation that tax year (and will be claimed by other charities and CASCs)”.

    As a small Shed the admin effort does not justify the meagre rewards. If you have regularly 20 – 30 members attending each week, then I could see its worth.

    in reply to: Use of Facebook and other social media #1430

    Having recently attended one of Milton Keynes Council’s excellent adult education one-day courses on writing your own (Free) website using WordPress. I’m currently adding material as I have time, but it is fairly flexible and has the ability to grow possibly into a paid website as time goes by.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
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