Open event for a new Shed

We are pleased to announce that the old cricket pavilion at the Radwinter recreation ground has been made available to the Essex Shed Network, in order to establish a Men’s Shed in the area of Uttlesford.

An open event will be held on Saturday the 17th of November 2018 between 10am to 12pm for any men who would be interested in becoming members of this new Shed.

Member of the ESN team will be available to talk with you about the Shed and how you can get involved, plus there will be tea, coffee and cake available.


Give your unused tools a new mission

Do you find unused tools cluttering your Shed? Not sure what to do with them? It would be worth contacting TWAM – Tools With A Mission – a Christian charity that collects unwanted tools, refurbishes them and then packs them into trade kits before sending them across the world. This enables local people to be trained and provide support to their communities through livelihood creation.

All tools are collected by volunteers and to find your nearest collection agent you can visit their website here –

Alternatively you can contact TWAM on 01473 210220 or email

Community Initiatives Fund

The Community Initiatives Fund is a grants scheme funded by Essex County Council which is designed to fund community projects that:

  • Create, procure or develop new community assets;
  • Enhance existing community assets; or
  • Enhance or develop initiatives that strengthen a community.

Applications are invited from bodies which are properly constituted, Essex-based and broadly representative of their local community or neighborhood.

The fund has been designed to be as flexible and responsive as possible to the needs of the community. Projects seeking funding should take account of ECC and Essex Partnership priorities including tackling crime and anti-social behavior, improving local environmental features, access to services and supporting communities.

There are two parts to the fund:

  • CIF (subject to a maximum application of £20,000 for any one project)
  • CIF Response (subject to a maximum application of £15,000 for any one project).

Full details of the fund, including the qualifying criteria and eligibility can be found in the guidance notes, which you should read before submitting your application.

CIF timetable 2018/19

  • receipt of completed application forms: Friday 26 October 2018
  • judging panels’ decisions: throughout November/December 2018

CIF Response timetable 2018/19

  • Final receipt of completed application forms: Friday 22 February 2019

For further information, please call 01245 437 887 or email

Full details are also available online at

If you require any help with your application then get please get in touch-, 01621 851891

New member of the ESN Team

We are pleased to introduce a new member of the ESN Team; Gary Nicholas has joined us in the role of Communications Coordinator and will be ensuring that the Essex Shed Network continues to go from strength to strength. Gary will be keeping current Shedders in the loop via our website, newsletters and social media whilst also offering support and advice to fledgling sheds:

“I’m really looking forward to getting involved and promoting the ESN- the Shed concept has such huge potential to enrich the lives of men who are suffering from loneliness or just looking for a fresh purpose. I want to play a part in spreading the word and hopefully seeing memberships increasing and new Sheds opening up across Essex”

Gary has already been to visit the Maldon Shed as well as a new location which we hope can be revealed soon, so keep an eye out for that in the next newsletter! In the meantime Gary will be trying to visit other Sheds and chat to as many Shedders as he can, but if you’d like to get in contact he can be reached on 01621 851891 or email

World Suicide Prevention Day

Monday 10th September is world suicide prevention day. Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 45 and it is rising in older men. 75% of all suicides in the UK are by men so this Suicide prevention day the Essex Shed Network wants to shine a light on the preventative role that Men in Shed projects can have.
There are many reasons why men may feel suicidal including periods of transition in their lives. Bereavement, retirement and poor health are all examples of why anyone may begin to feel isolated or depressed. Sheds bring people together and provide somewhere men can talk, shoulder to shoulder. Many Shedders will be in a position to relate to feelings associated with these transitions, they can offer a friend, support and understanding all in the form of a enjoyable hobby.
At the Essex Shed Network we know that Sheds make a difference and from talking to Shedders we know that the friendships at Sheds really do help when people are struggling with suicidal thoughts and their mental health.
For anyone struggling to cope, the Samaritans is there for you, around the clock every single day of the year. Please call them free at any time on 116 123. All calls are completely confidential.

Funding round open for Essex Community projects

The Essex Local Connections Fund will be running a funding round starting in Sept 2018. For you chance to get a pledge of up to £10,000 please follow the below steps :

    • Complete the expression of interest form asap
    • Create your page by 17 September – you will be matched to the Essex Crowd Round and can pitch online
    • Submit it for verification – involves checking your costs and permissions
    • Start your crowdfunding campaign by 29 September
    • Pledge decision from Essex in last week of October

If you want to be part of this funding round, then please email Tom on

Partnerships, recruitment and future plans

2018 has been a great year for the Essex Shed Network with new projects and partnerships being developed to extend the Shed community across the County.

Just last month we formalised a partnership with West Essex Sheds – hosted by CVS Uttlesford who have been developing Shed projects in the west of the county since 2015. This partnership marks the end of West Essex Sheds and a new beginning for the Essex Shed Network – we have developed a strategic vision, hosted pilot projects that enable more people to be involved with Sheds and increase the impact of Sheds and have a range of future plans.

Read more about everything we are doing in our August Update document or contact Sarah Troop Laskar on 01621 851891 or

Read our update


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


Hawkwell Community Shed is launched!

The Hawkwell Community shed officially launched on the 18th of July.  Shedders welcomed visitors to see their handy work which included making the work benches and lining the container the shed operates out of themselves  and installation of the electrics.

The ESN Coordinator said a few words,  congratulated the Hawkwell Shedders on the work they had done to date and wished them all the very best and success in the future.

They have their first commission of planters for a nearby railway station and are also scheduled to work with ’Volunteer it Yourself’ to co build a socialising area on the side of the Shed.

The shed is in a container based at Potash Garden Centre and is open to both men and women over 18. If you are interested please contact Richard Iles on 07540724275.



Charlie Bethel has joined the UK Men’s Sheds Association as Chief Officer.

Charlie comes to UKMSA with a wealth of experience from the third sector with over twenty years working in Paralympic Sport.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation where he has a portfolio that includes the Summer Paralympic Games and Commonwealth Games.

Charlie is the former Chief Executive of British Wheelchair Basketball where he led the sport through tremendous growth in both participation and the structure of the organisation.

On joining the UKMSA Charlie said,

“‘I’m tremendously excited about the opportunity of working with the Trustees and everyone involved in Men’s Sheds across the UK.”