Men’s Sheds and referrals

Shedders at Trust Links Community Shed

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 gary@essexshednetwork.co.uk and we will forward the details.

E-Bulletins

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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 started on a Men’s Shed at Hill Farm, Colchester

The Shedders examining the old water tank and deciding on the best method of removal!

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.**

Essex Shed Network premiere new short film

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.

Shed Inside launches at MOAT Foundation Community Hub in Fullbridge Mill, Maldon

Maldon Shedder Bob De Vries demonstrating pyrography at the Shed Inside Launch

We are pleased to announce that another Shed Inside has launched in Essex! The Essex Shed Network have partnered with MOAT Foundation to offer sessions at their Community Hub in Fullbridge Mill, Maldon every Tuesday between 10am and 12pm.

The launch took place on Tuesday 21st May and was attended by men interested to see what Shed Inside could offer. Also present was Maldon West Councillor, Mark Heard – who we must point out is not being arrested in the photo above, rather he is in conversation with two local PCSO’s who also came to the launch to find out more about Shed Inside!

Shed Inside offers a distilled version of Men’s Sheds- a space for projects, community involvement, company and conversation over a cuppa- but without the large power tools and the health and safety restrictions that they can bring.

Three regular Shedders were on hand to chat about Sheds and demonstrate the kinds of projects that Shed Insiders could engage with, including pyrography (artful wood burning with a soldering iron-like tool) which proved popular and will be available at Shed Inside sessions at Fullbridge Mill for the next few weeks, supervised by Maldon Shedder Bob De Vries.

If you would like to see a Shed Inside near you, please get in touch with Tracey Hall to discuss how Essex Shed Network can help.

Saffron Walden Community Shed Officially Open!

Saffron Walden Community Shed had it’s official launch on Saturday 4th May.

It was a bright, sunny morning and over 50 people came along to see the ribbon cut by Clive Emmett of Essex Shed Network and Mike Watts, SWCS Lead, before enjoying tea, cake and tours of the Shed and the historic St Marks College.

Whilst getting ready for their official launch, the SWCS Shedders have already been busy building bird boxes and planters for Saffron Walden Museum, refurbishing play equipment for a local nursery and making new targets for an archery range at St Marks College!

The Shed will be open 9am until 12pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Please email any enquiries to admin@swshed.org.uk

A Shed for Colchester?


An exciting opportunity is available for a Men’s Shed at a location between Langham and Boxted villages in Colchester. The potential Shed is a spacious barn that has been generously offered to the Essex Shed Network for conversion into a Men’s Shed!

We will be hosting an informative evening at Boxted Village Hall, Wednesday 22nd May at 7pm.

The evening will be a chance for the community and local men to quiz us about Men’s Sheds, who we are and how we support Shed projects and the potential Colchester Shed itself. We also hope to have a couple of Shedders from existing Sheds available to explain more about what activities they enjoy at Sheds, and the benefits they have gained from being members of a Shed.

Refreshments will be available and all are welcome to attend that are interested in finding out more.

Shed Inside launching at Fullbridge Mill, Maldon

Shed Inside will be arriving in community hubs across Essex in 2019

Following the introduction of Shed Inside sessions at the Ideas Hub in Chelmsford Library, we are pleased to announce that we have now partnered with MOAT Foundation to offer the same at their Fullbridge Mill Community Hub in Maldon.

The official launch date is Tuesday 21st May, so anyone who is interested is welcome to come down between 10am and 12pm to find out more over tea/coffee. The sessions will be run weekly on a Tuesday between 10am and 12pm and will offer men a safe space to engage in practical projects and talk ‘shoulder to shoulder’- just like the Shedders do in full-blown Sheds- but in a comfortable, accessible environment that avoids the use of major tools.

The MOAT Community Hub at Fullbridge Mill is a light and welcoming space that includes an IT suite as well as a large table for working on projects, plus a comfy seating area with riverside views. The location is 5 minutes from a bus stop (outside Tesco) and the building itself has wheel chair access and a lift.

For more info about the launch and Shed Inside at Fullbridge Mill please contact Nicola Syder of MOAT Foundation. If you would like to start a Shed Inside at a community hub near you then get in touch with Tracey Hall at Essex Shed Network

Men’s Sheds ‘Inspiring Essex’

Essex County Council filmed Chelmsford Men’s Shed as part of their Future of Essex series showcasing community initiatives from across the county. It’s a great series of films about the initiatives that are out there and the people who work hard to maintain them. The full series is available to view on the Inspiring Essex page of The Essex Map website.

Sarah Troop Laskar of Essex Shed Network provided dialogue for the Men’s Shed film which featured the Chelmsford Shedders and Peter Brooks of Chelmsford CVS (custodians of the Chelmsford Shed project).

Chelmsford Shed are currently over-subscribed and desperately need extra volunteers to supervise additional sessions. So if you watch the video and want to get involved please drop us a line and we’ll pass your details along.

ESN partners shortlisted for NAVCA Awards 2019

Essex Shed Network partners Maldon and District CVS and CVS Uttlesford were this week shortlisted for an award in the inaugural NAVCA awards, recognising the contribution of voluntary sector infrastructure across the country.

The nomination,which was received in the Collaboration and Partnership category, was in recognition of the strong partnership work that had taken place between MDCVS and CVSU to set up the Essex Shed Network and procure three year funding from the National Lottery for the development and expansion of Men in Shed projects across the county.

MDCVS Director Sarah Troop said “I’m immensely proud that Maldon and District CVS and CVS Uttlesford were shortlisted in this category. The fellow nominees are all so impressive so to be recognised alongside them is a great achievement for our small teams”

CVSU Chief Exec Clive Emmett said  “I was extremely pleased to have been shortlisted for these new NAVCA awards and count ourselves privilaged to reach the point we did in the process considering the strong field. I am also very pleased that it was in partnership with our colleagues at Maldon CVS, an organisation we find it very easy to work with collaboratively.”

Read more about the awards, winners and other shortlisted organisations here https://navca.org.uk/navca-awards-winners