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Staying in touch with your Shed during coronavirus

We know how important it is to Shedders to keep in touch with each other, especially during a time of national and global crisis, so wanted to share with you a few ways of keeping in touch as a Shed. There should be something for everyone and the best solution for you will depend on the sort of technology your Shedders have access to and are most comfortable using.

By phone

It may sound obvious, but when people are stuck indoors, and possibly on their own, a simple phone call can really brighten up the day. It’s also a great way of finding out if any of the ways of creating a more virtual Shed experience will work for your Shed’s members.


Many Sheds already use WhatsApp group chats to stay in touch and find it a great way of keeping the Shed atmosphere going outside of opening times. It’s great for sharing links, videos, and photos and could provide a great space to amuse each other with pictures and videos of your lock down projects (or lack of lock down projects!) For Shed leaders wanting to start a WhatsApp group there are some useful links below:


Slack describes itself as a collaboration hub, which it can be for teams working on a project together, but it can also be a great way of just staying in touch with each other. On Slack, you can setup a virtual space for your Shed with different channels for different types of chat. Alongside your general chat, you could have a jokes section, a hobby craft section, or even a Shed ideas section. Not only is Slack a great way to keep in touch, it could also be a great space to use post pandemic to help share ideas for the future of your Shed. For Shed leaders wanting to start a Slack group, there are some useful links below:


Facebook has a number of great ways for you to stay in touch with fellow Shedders. If you don’t already have one, you can create a page for your Shed, where you can share updates and start conversations on posts. You could even go live from your home workshop with Facebook Live. There is also the UKMSA Facebook page, where you can keep in touch with us and Shedders from around the country. As well as using Facebook pages, you could setup a private group for your Shed or start a group chat in Facebook Messenger. If you don’t want a Facebook account where people can find you, and just want one for the purposes of keeping in touch with fellow Shedders, in the settings you can lock your profile down. For Shed leaders wanting to start take advantage of Facebook, there are some useful links below:


Zoom is one of the leading providers of video conferencing and has free accounts available. The free accounts allow you to have up to 100 people join a call, but can only last for up to 40 minutes. This might be a good free option alongside a WhatsApp group or Slack channel, so Shedders can meet for a cup of tea and a chat at set times as well as message each other. For Shed leaders wanting to start using Zoom, there are some useful links below:


WHYPAY provides a free, no-frills conferencing service, using an 03 dial-in number that is free from both landlines and mobile phones. It’s free plan allows up to 50 people to join a call, making it a great alternative to video calling if you have members who don’t have access to a computer with a camera or a smartphone. For Shed leaders wanting to start using Zoom, just follow the instructions below:

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app that helps you stay connected and have conversations. Inside channels you can hold on-the-spot meetings, have conversations, and share files. It’s another tool that can be useful now and possibly after coronavirus has passed. For Shed leaders wanting to start a Microsoft Team channel, there are some useful links below:

UK Men’s Sheds On Frome Radio

In these days of Social Isolation we are proud to present….
Wednesday 25th March, 2020
1000am to Noon
Frome FM, featuring articles, Shedders, debates and
discussions from across the Shed network in the UK

Tune in or catch the podcast at
Stay Safe, Standing together Shoulder to Shoulder
(via the radio)
Thanks to all of our partners and contributors

Coronavirus – update by UK Men’s Sheds Association

As you know, in our last update we explained that you should all follow the guidance of the government with regard to Coronavirus. This remains our guidance.

The guidance is changing daily and as such we are not publishing information that would be out of date as soon as it is published. We are saying that you should follow government guidance.

I know this guidance has been confusing for some people as UKMSA is not saying definitively to close your Sheds. We are not a governing body over Sheds and cannot tell you to close, we do however continue to ask that you follow the Government guidance to prevent the spread of the virus. It does seem however that to keep Sheds physically open would be contrary to government advice.

The Government guidance is for everyone, including children. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This advice is likely to change and become more restrictive so please stay in touch with reputable news channels, NHS websites and the Government website. You can find the latest guidance online here.

Information taken from the Government’s website today Monday 23rd March states –
‘What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). They are to:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible.
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information.
  4. Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
    Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.
    We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:
    • are over 70
    • have an underlying health condition
    • are pregnant
    This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks. We ask you all stay safe and healthy and keep talking and supporting each other.

Shed Happens – Even when you’re self-isolating

The UK Men’s Shed Association wants to ensure that where Shedders are following NHS Guidelines on Coronavirus and have to self-isolate, that they have a ‘Virtual Shed’ they can listen to and interact with online. The UKMSA wants to keep Shedders connected.  We are producing a weekly radio show called “Shed Happens” , that will broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am to 12:00 on Frome FM, which can be listened to online nationwide. or Frome 96.6FM

Continue Reading

Coronavirus and Men’s Sheds

Monday 18th March, 2020

We have been asked what advice we can give with regard to Coronavirus.

Without doubt it is clear the situation is evolving and the NHS are providing more and more updates each day.

We suggest that you stay up to date with news and information either by reliable sources on the internet such as official and if you do not have access to the internet then there is always the BBC red button.

Government are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures for more see

We understand some Shedders may choose to self-isolate and we know how caring the Shedder community is, so please remember to stay in touch with your fellow Shedders by calls/ text/ email/ internet to check they are okay.  As BT used to say, ‘it’s good to talk’.  It may also be prudent to keep your attendance registers up to date in case a member contracts the disease and you need to contact fellow members who came in to contact with them.

In the press you may hear the phrase ‘social distancing’.  This is a term used to reduce the spread of disease, particularly those where infection is transferred via droplet contact – as is the case with Coronavirus. 

Through social media there will be a number of suggestions from local Men’s Sheds on how to manage the potential health crisis and we encourage you again to follow advice you receive from your local doctors and the NHS. 

Remember – do not be a hero, if you feel ill – even if the Shed depends on you, stay home, stay safe.

At this time ( 18/03/20) the advice from the NHS is to call 111 if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
  • You cannot get help online

WIN a £50 donation for your Shed

We’re excited to bring you the news that Men’s Shed have partnered with easyfundraising!

easyfundraising is a free fundraising website that you, your fellow Shedders and Shed supporters can use to help raise money for your Shed, simply by doing Christmas and Black Friday shopping online with thousands of retailers like Wickes, Screwfix, eBay, Just Eat, Amazon, eBay & M&S.

It takes two minutes to register your Shed, it’s completely free and then you’re all set to go.

Plus, register your Shed for the chance to win a £50 donation! Sign up for free at before the 20th December and one lucky Shed will WIN! 

Once you’ve signed up, don’t forget to access your free fundraising toolkitIt’s full of free resources to help you communicate to your Shedders and supporters in your community that they can raise money for your Shed, simply by shopping online with easyfundraising. 

This is a really great time to get started! 

Join groups like Men in Sheds West Bletchley who have already raised over £155 with easyfundraising. Paul said – “easyfundraising provides a useful way for Shed supporters to help with our fundraising. It doesn’t cost supporters to use and a percentage of their online purchases comes to the Shed in the form of a quarterly payment directly to our bank well-known high-street names like John Lewis & Partners, Argos, Wickes and many others will all pay a percentage of the transaction value which benefits the Shed. I thoroughly recommend it.”Give your Shed a big funding boost this Christmas, sign-up today! 

One Shedder’s adventures down under

We featured an article in Shoulder to Shoulder 053 – July from Martin Young from Dunstable Men’s Shed, who travelled around Australia and New Zealand, starting in November 2018, visiting Sheds along the way.

Martin shared that there were several things he learned from the Sheds he stopped off at, and he has now developed a blog for those looking to read more about his journey and experiences with those Sheds.

To read more about Martin’s experiences, you can visit his blog at