We’re into the second month of 2020 already and, though there are plenty of exciting things happening this year, 2019 was a great year for the Essex Shed Network and our first year of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. Here are just some of our highlights by month from 2019-
Jaywick Men’s Shed featured on Look East, the BBC evening regional news programme which aired Monday 13th January. Lead Shedder Steve Peterson was interviewed by Mike Liggins along with Matt Hume, ESN’s Shed Development Officer.
We got in touch with BBC Look East after seeing their series about the community of Jaywick (which aired through the week from January 6th) to tell them about the Men’s Shed we are helping to set up there and asked whether they’d be interested in filming.
They sent Mike Liggins and a cameraman to meet us at the Shed and put together a 2 minute piece which gave a good impression of what Jaywick Men’s Shed is about, as well as complementing the series which has presented a much more positive side of Jaywick then has previously been shown in the media.
The piece is available to view for a short time on BBCi player here and starts from 21mins 40secs.
We were honoured and amazed to receive a donation of £6038 from Taylor Wimpey East London. The incredible amount was raised from an auction during a Charity Golf Day organised by Taylor Wimpey. Thanks to the generosity of the various contractors and partners who took part in the auction, the Essex Shed Network received a sum which will make a real difference in helping to grow new Sheds across the county, whilst contributing to the support available to existing Men’s Sheds.
As well as a share of the proceeds from the auction, we were also handed a large box of tea and biscuits which had been donated by the staff of TW East London. This was gratefully received by Maldon Shed who also gave time out of their session to provide tours of their Shed and pose for pictures!
The Essex Shed Network were chosen alongside another charity by Taylor Wimpey East London to receive their support for 2019/2020. We were originally put forward by employee Steve Ellis whose uncle attends a Men’s Shed on the Isle of Man- so we owe a big thank you to Uncle Bob and Steve for thinking of us originally. Thank you also to the staff of Taylor Wimpey East London including Peter Sebry and Abigail Gray for your support.
The Beacon Shed held its official launch event on the 2nd October under sunny skies and with a sizable crowd in attendance. Everyone who took a tour of the Shed couldn’t help but be impressed by what the Beacon Shedders have achieved; what started life as two 40′ shipping containers has now become something of a ‘Show Shed’ with its own kitchen, disabled toilet and even an office!
The Shed welcomes all men from the community and, although a project of Thundersley Congregational Church, Terry Irving as Shed Lead was keen to stress that there is “no expectation for men to be a part of or join the church to use the Shed”.
Opening on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays between 9am and 2pm from 7th October, The Beacon Shed is certain to make a real difference to the lives of men in the local community.
The Shed is located in the car park off London Road, opposite the Bread and Cheese pub. Anyone wishing to find out more can email – firstname.lastname@example.org
The September e-bulletin has been sent out with all the usual Men’s Shed goodness including news on the Beacon Shed Launch, our being chosen as one of Taylor Wimpey’s charities of 2019/20 and our Health Awareness & Networking event at Essex County cricket ground, plus more.
The network is growing all the time and the newer Sheds out there are beginning to find that, as they become better known in their communities, more individuals or organisations start to approach or refer their clients to them. Unfortunately not all of these people will be suitable for Sheds (more often than not on the grounds of health safety) but it can be stressful to know when this is the case; Shedders like to include rather than exclude anyone who might benefit, as they do, from belonging to a Shed.
Having had conversations with several Sheds on this subject, we have organised an event which we hope will help Sheds to manage outside referrals, confidently welcome men who will benefit most from Sheds and be able to provide each other with non-professional support; the Essex Shed Network Health Awareness and Networking Day will be held on Tuesday 10th September 2019 at Essex Cricket ground and will include talks about dementia, drugs and alcohol, mental health awareness and general men’s health.
There will also be plenty of time in the day for Sheds to network, share information and find out how other Sheds cope with different aspects of running a Shed including referrals. Not only that, but we will also host a Q&A session at the end of the day with a panel including the founders of the Essex Shed Network, Sarah Troop Laskar and Clive Emmett, along with other Shed experts, ready to answer any burning questions.
An email has been sent round to all Shed leads with the link to register for the event, but if for whatever reason you have not received or seen this then please email email@example.com and we will forward the details.
The July E-bulletin with the latest news and events from around the Essex Shed Network has just gone out. There is news about North Colchester Men’s Shed, our newly recruited Shed Ambassadors and a fund raising event being held for Harlow Men’s Shed. View it here, then you can make sure you don’t miss another by subscribing to receive it directly to your Inbox by clicking here.
Work has begun to turn the old barn on Hill Farm into a fully functioning Men’s Shed. The barn is a great project offering a lot of potential with room to grow and adapt to whatever tools/projects the Shedders decide to take on.
Behind the main barn area there are three adjoining rooms which the Shedders are focusing on converting first, with inspections of utilities happening in the next week or so. The Shedders have already begun work on mending doors and windows and removing the old water tank from the loft area.
This is a large but exciting project and the Shedders have agreed to meet every Thursday morning at 10.30am to work on the barn, which is located between the villages of Langham and Boxted near Colchester.
If you would like to be involved then please get in touch.
**UPDATE: work has had to be paused at Hall Farm as an asbestos report showed traces of the material on site. Essex Shed Network and the owners of the barn are working to find a solution to ensure the health and safety of Shedders is not compromised.**
To mark the close of three years support from the Essex Community Foundation, whilst also celebrating a new partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, Essex Shed Network commissioned a short film which was premiered at Cressing Temple Barns, site of Cressing Temple Community Shed.
Funders, supporters and Shedders all gathered to watch the film which, as a trustee of Maldon CVS put it, ‘brought a tear to the eye’ with it’s moving interviews with Shedders, all of whom generously told their stories in candid fashion.
Before the film was shown Sarah Troop Laskar and Clive Emmett, director of Maldon & District CVS and CEO of CVS Uttlesford respectively and joint partners in the Essex Shed Network, gave an outline of how far we’ve come and our unaltered vision for the future: more Men’s Sheds and Shed Inside projects available across the county, helping to reduce the number of men exposed to loneliness or social isolation and the detrimental effect this has on health.