To mark the Tenth Year birthday celebrations of the UK Men’s Sheds Association and recognise the contribution made by Men’s Sheds across the UK, this year’s Shed of the Year Awards were hosted in the Palace of Westminster, London.
Hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, the awards saw politicians from all major parties in England, Scotland and Wales represented together with Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Mental Health presenting at the Health and Wellbeing Award.
The Awards were opened by Paralympic Legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who spoke of the impact of Men’s Sheds and importance of wellbeing. The Baroness was followed by Maria Caulfield MP who praised the work of Men’s Sheds and the impact of Men’s Sheds across the UK. This was followed by newly appointed Chairman, Rob Lloyd who spoke of the power of Sheds to transform and save lives, he thanked everyone in the movement for their commitment to their communities and the humility he felt when reading the nominations.
The Awards were supported by TiteFix and the trophies were all made and designed by Carveco. Prizes for winners were donated by TiteFix, Yorkshire Fixings, Ronseal, Axminster and MetalCraft.
The first award of the afternoon was made to Camden Town Shed and was a blue plaque for the Shed recognising their role in the formation of UKMSA with founder Mike Jenn receiving the award with fellow Shedder Alan.
Following the Awards UKMSA have prepared awards to be given to all thirty Sheds that existed when UKMSA was formed to recognise their contribution and long service to the Shed movement.
Mike Jenn was also presented with a bouquet of flowers to thank him for his strength and vision of bringing together many Sheds ten years ago that now sees over 1,100 Men’s Sheds in the UK.
All awards were hotly contested and each one was thanked by the Chairman for their contribution to Shedding in the UK.
The Health and Wellbeing Award was won by Lancaster Men’s Hub, a Shed that embraces a number of activities from their allotment and woodwork to walking football and bowls (the sporty type)
The Shed now has over sixty members creating and the Shed has diversified to the needs of the community, accepting both refugees and asylum seekers as part of their community.
First and foremost a place for craft, Lancaster Men’s Hub have not only responded to a need in their Shedders, but a need in their communities. They firmly believe in ‘Wellbeing through doing’.
Long Sutton Men’s Shed won the Community Shed of the Year Award for the huge local impact the Shed has and particularly their Youth Shed project, opening the doors to support the young community and developing new skills
It is difficult to enter Long Sutton without seeing a sign made by the Shed to welcome people with one of their road signs….. a clear way to save the county council money.
The award was made by Axminster’s Berni Callery with Rob Lloyd.
The Partnership of the Year Award was won by Cotswold Community Shed who demonstrated powerful partnership working with local nursing services and social prescribing.
Presented by Rob Lloyd and MD of Titefix, Richard Rhodes, the Cotswold Community Shed does many things, from supporting Legs 4 Africa, to making Christmas Lanterns, they support and work with the local wild fowl trust and the local police college.
Their one to one support for young people at Aurora Severnside School sees the Shed teaching and supporting basic hand crafting skills for young people struggling with daily life and they comment on how it is certainly a joy to see two vastly disparate groups in genuine joy, working together. Both old and young benefitting greatly from this work.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented by Rob Lloyd and Jimmy Englezos from Ronseal, a partner of UKMSA that has donated over £50,000 of product to Men’s Sheds in the last twelve months, as well as supporting numerous digital and UKMSA programmes.
Gareth Lloyd picked up this award for his work in and out of the Shed. Gareth transformed the Shed to make it accessible with wheelchair accessible toilets and work areas. He has supported Kessingland Men’s Shed with fundraising and has gone on to support the local foodbank and family groups. Gareth has commented that the Shed it had saved his life, and we are sure he has also transformed many others with his contribution.
This Year Three Chairman Commendations were made in this category, recognition of the depth of field.
Chris Griffiths (below left)was awarded the first as a shining example of a busy man with compassion and time to support the Shedders of Lisvane Men’s Shed. Someone who does it all, managing major projects in their Shed, creating disability access, working with local and national politicians in Wales.
The second was awarded to Tony Smith-Crallan (below middle) from The Silvers’ Workshop who is both an Ambassador and someone who supports the IT systems in UKMSA. Tony has been instrumental in setting up a number of Sheds in his region and gives a tremendous amount of his time.
A huge thank you and award was also made to Patrick Abrahams (below right), presenter of the radio show Shed Happens during Lockdown, Ambassador responsible for developing many Sheds and networks and for his tremendous work on the Health and Wellbeing Group, leading on research and the collation of papers and articles for UKMSA.
The Final Award, the Shed of the Year Award, supported by TiteFix was made by Rob Lloyd, Richard Rhodes and Baroness Grey-Thompson. Broadstairs Town Shed, as last year’s winners also created a magnificent gift for the winning Shed as is tradition.
This year’s Shed of the Year Award went to a Shed that never stops working to support their members and the wider community in ways that go above ‘whatever a normal Shed is’.
Linked with many groups and charities in their community they support people by breaking down barriers in an area of high deprivation. Working with the council, the quality of work by the Shed is recognised with them receiving a huge number of commissions for benches, planters and picnic tables.
The Shed refurbishes furniture for families in crisis via the local authority, particularly for those fleeing violence, struggling with the cost of living or other traumatic domestic situations. The Shed also offers places for students at college and have invested in machinery to help train people into work.
Going further, the winning Shed repairs bikes for the local community and donated bikes are transformed and given to people referred through probation services or sent by the local job centre. They also donate bikes to local foster families who are supporting children in the community.
This Shed even takes in football boots and cleans them up for disadvantaged teenagers.
The 2023 Shed of the Year, Supported by TiteFix was awarded to Bootle Tool Shed.
A huge thank you to all of the partners, sponsors and supporters who joined us at The House of Lords and for all the Sheds who came to London to share this fantastic occasion.
Our thanks also to the Minister, Maria Caulfield MP and all the MPs (listed below) who took time out of their busy schedules to join us and celebrate Men’s Sheds.
Whilst the main event was supported by TiteFix, prizes were created by Carveco. Each winner won a both generous and special prize for their Shed and the categories were sponsored by:
- MetalCraft sponsored the Health and Wellbeing Award
- Axminster sponsored the Community Shed of the Year
- Yorkshire Fixings sponsored Partnership of the Year
- Ronseal sponsored Volunteer of the Year
- TiteFix sponsored Shed of the Year
The shortlisted Sheds in each category were:
Shed Community Project of the Year
Torbay Men’s Shed
Denby Dale and District Men’s Shed Association
Bootle Tool Shed
Long Sutton Men’s Shed
Shed Volunteer of the Year
Gareth Lloyd – Kessingland Shed
Chris Griffiths – Lisvane Men’s Shed
Frank Heinrich – Tiller – Long Sutton Men’s Shed
Brian Giles – Octopus Foundation Shed
Shed Health and Wellbeing Impact of the Year
Broadstairs Men’s Shed
Lancaster Men’s Hub
Norwich Men’s Shed
Shed Partnership of the Year
Knighton Men’s Shed
Cotswold Community Shed of the Year
Norton Men’s Shed
Horsforth Men’s Shed
Shed of the Year
Wayland Men’s Shed
Long Sutton Men’s Shed
Bootle Tool Shed
Lowestoft Men’s Shed
We would like to thank the sponsors and partners of UKMSA for attending this celebration and particularly the following MPs who took time out of their schedules: Duncan Baker MP,
Virginia Crosbie MP, Seema Malhortra MP, Alison Thewliss MP, Ian Levy MP, Jamie Stone MP, Tracey Crouch MP, Helen Morgan MP, Kirsten Oswald MP, Ellie Reeves MP, Nick Fletcher MP, Kim Leadbeater MP, Maria Caulfield MP, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Matt Warman MP, Sarah Green MP