New Members of the Essex Shed Network Team

We are pleased to welcome on board Tracey Hall, Outreach Officer and Matt Hume, Shed Development Officer. Both Tracey and Matt will be helping to support existing Sheds whilst working hard to establish new Men’s Sheds and Shed Inside projects across the county.

Tracey has worked in the charity and voluntary sector for 15 years, starting as a PTA committee member and school governor before going on to become the Royal British Legions Community Fundraiser and Volunteer Manager for Essex. More recently Tracey worked at Anglia Ruskin Universities Students’ Union as their Volunteer coordinator.

A large part of Tracey’s role at Essex Shed Network will be applying her experience to developing Shed Inside projects. Shed Inside was developed for people unable to attend a Men’s Shed for health or mobility reasons. A Shed Inside offers smaller projects and games whilst still offering the social interaction and peer support that are so fundamental to Men’s Sheds. And that’s something which Tracey is keen for all members of the community to have access to-

“I am very excited to start taking the Shed Inside concept to the next level and introduce it to new partners – community hubs such as libraries and hospices are perfect venues for hosting Shed Inside sessions”

Matt has have been involved with local Government work since January 2016 working at Plume Academy’s Special Educational Needs Department and more recently for Maldon District Council as a Community Protection Officer.

“I love meeting new people, travelling and helping local communities. I play a number of instruments in my spare time, hold a BA(Hons) in Music Production and I’m an amateur calligrapher”

Like many Shedders Matt holds more than one string to his bow! His energy and drive will be an asset in ensuring that new Sheds receive all the help, guidance or support they need to get off the ground and be successful. or 07935 216806 or 07935 216808

We are recruiting!

We are looking for someone to join our team and take a lead on developing our communications and networking as well as supporting Sheds across Essex with information and advice.

The ideal candidate will have experience of managing websites, social media and communicating across a range of media including press releases, poster development and newsletters as well as experience of managing events.

This post has now closed for applications and we look forward to introducing our new Coordinator soon


ESN Supports new Mens Health Project

The Essex Shed Network is pleased to support a new social initiative aimed at supporting men to get healthy or stay healthy

BLOKES was launched in Maldon on Saturday and is a new social initiative for men in the Maldon District being set up with a wellbeing twist, it looks to encourage guys to get together to make positive changes in their lives  This new group will host monthly headline events and will help guys get together to share interests or to try something new.

Read more about the launch and project on the Maldon and District CVS website

Are you ready for GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the updated legislation relating to Data Protection that becomes enforcable from the 24th May 2018.

It requires that organisations that process data have policies in place about how it is collected, used and stored and have a lawful basis for their processing. These processes must be accessible and clear to people whose data you hold.

Most Men in Shed projects will hold a database of members which will include information that is classed as personal data such as contact name, address and phone number. You may also record their age or information on health conditions which are defined as special categories of personal data.

For personal data you must demonstrate a lawful basis for your use of the data and for special categories you must demonstrate both a lawful basis and an “additional condition”

More information on GDPR and steps you can take to be compliant are in our new information sheet that you can download from our Resources Page. The Essex Shed Network can also offer workshops on GDPR, if you think this would be of interest please get in touch with Hamish on 01621 851891 or

Your Sheds future structure?

Charitable Incorporated Organisation and Trustee training

The Essex Shed Network is hosting training in relation to setting up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (C.I.O) This format for a Shed project is well thought of and recommended. If your Shed is considering registering as a charity the this training will provide information and  clarity on the roles and responsibilities that those who volunteer as trustees will take on.

Although focusing on the CIO structure the training will also be relevant to Sheds that have registered or are considering registering as a Unincorporated Charity.

The session will cover:

  • Rating your organisation.
  • Roles, responsibilities and legal duties of trustees.
  • Financial duties.
  • Paperwork needed for the Board.
  • Governance and management – getting the right balance.

There are only 5 spaces left so if you are interested in attending please get in touch as soon as possible to reserve your place.

Thursday 15th of March from 9.45 till 1pm.

Location: Uttlesford CVS Meeting Room.

Please contact Hamish on 01621 851891 or to reserve your place.


Mens Health Week

June 12- 18 is Men’s Health Week and this year the spotlight is on abdominal obesity also known as belly fat.

Research shows that men are more likely to be overweight with 68% of men now overweight or obese, with this they are more likely to face health problems such as diabetes because they are overweight. They are also less likely to get support to tackle their weight problems from health professionals.

The Men’s Health Forum is raising awareness this week and challenging men to consider whether they have a Hazardous Waist.

A Hazardous waist is defined as being over 37inches (94cm) and puts an individual at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Move more – Eat well – Watch the booze

Read more online at the Men’s Health Forum website

Men in Sheds
Research has shown that involvement in a Men’s Shed has a range of health benefits for those involved.  The Shed environment has been proven to be a conduit to changes in health related behaviour amongst men. A paper written for the UK Mens Shed Association by Dr. Snorri Bjorn Rafnsson, UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health entitled “Social engagement, health and wellbeing of older men”  identifies a surprising number of ways that community involvement has health benefits for men ranging from reduced impact of a disability, improved dental health, reduced use of medications, lower levels of depression, reduced emotional distress and delayed onset of dementia.

Commendation for Shed Supervisors

The Who Will Care? Awards were launched in 2015 after research highlighted the importance of volunteering for a strong community, for now and in the future as the need for help and support from people in our communities grows.

The Awards celebrate thousands of individuals that are supporting each other within the communities of Essex.

The supervisors at all the Essex Sheds were put forward by the Essex Shed Network in recognition of all the hard work they contribute to the success of Men in Sheds in Essex and we are pleased to announce that they have received a certificate of commendation to acknowledge the acts of kindness and dedication to volunteering.

Read more about the Who Will Care? Awards here 

Mayors award for Community Service


The members of The Maldon Men’s Shed were honoured last week to receive the Mayor’s Award for Service to the Community at the Annual Town Hall General Meeting. Phil Kinsman, Chair of the Maldon Shed said, “The Shed only keeps going because of the commitment of all its members. We have specific volunteer roles but everyone gives of their time, so the award was for everyone.”

After the recent break-in at the Shed, the Mayor also very kindly gave £250 from the Mayoral Charitable funds. Since then the Maldon Shed has also received a number of donations of timber, hand tools and power tools. Two security companies have offered them advice and support about their security. All this goodwill has transformed what was a shocking and saddening experience.

Phil said, “We want to thank everyone who has helped and supported us over the last few years and especially the last few weeks. The Shed is open as usual and always happy to welcome new members.”

Resilience in the face of Shed theft

Maldon Shedders resilient after break in

Maldon Shedders are resilient following the disappointing discovery that their Shed building had been broken into.

The Shed which operates out of the old mortuary building at Maldon Cemetery was broken into at the beginning of the week. The exact time of the burglary is unknown as the discovery was only made on Wednesday morning when the Shedders arrived to open their regular session. Thieves had gained access to the building via the destruction of the key safe hidden on the premises and early assessments are that around £3,500 of tools have been taken.

Phil Kinsman, Chair of Maldon Shed says “the Shed is the people not the building or the tools, so we’ll soon be back on track. Let’s not let it discourage us”

The Shed will be open as usual this Saturday, closing for Easter Monday and then open as normal from Wednesday 19th April.

If you would like to show your support for the Maldon Shedders a Just Giving page has been set up for people to send messages of support and give donations that will be used to improve security at the Shed and enable the projects continued running. 


ESN Spring event at The Curlew

ESN Spring group photo

Shed Community comes together to strengthen skills

Men from six Essex based Men in Shed projects came together recently to share knowledge and learn new skills.

The spring networking event of the Essex Shed Network, held at the Curlew in South Woodham Ferrers, offered the Shedders training from the ‘Funding Doctor’ – Corinna Hartwig and the opportunity to discuss health and safety in a Shed setting.

As well as some expert funding advice for the Sheds of Essex, Corinna delivered some up-to-date and specific new opportunities for income streams that small enterprises might look at in today’s tough funding environment.

In the afternoon, Maldon Shedder, Lance Kara, delivered a Q&A session on Health & Safety for Men in Shed projects. The Shedders were then able to stay on and socialise, sharing Sheds different progress and experiences.

Overall feedback on the event was positive with Shedders reporting increased knowledge on the focused subject areas, as well as a range of topics discussed through the informal networking opportunity the event provided. Topics discussed included membership and session costs, funding successes and codes of conduct.