3rd February 2020

BoA Men’s Shed getting closer

Men’s Sheds provide a shared place to pursue practical interests, practice skills, enjoy making and mending, but unlike a solitary garden shed, they are all about social connections, friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge with others.

Last year, Cllr Jennie Parker, who has a keen interest in raising awareness about social isolation, along with other members of the community, Kate Vigar and a dedicated group of interested volunteers, researched and visited a number of existing Men’s Sheds in order to inform the set up of a Bradford on Avon based project.

Pictured Cllr Jennie Parker (centre) with some of the BoA Men’s Shed volunteers (left to right): Paul Shotton, Peter Eveleigh (Chair), Peter Vandor, John Box, Josh Clark and Dave Hendy

There are currently hundreds of ‘sheds’ across the UK and a website dedicated to encouraging more which cites that:

“Activities in Sheds vary greatly, but you can usually find woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics, model buildings or even car building in a typical Shed. Sheds typically attract older men, but many have younger members and women too. Whatever the activity, the essence of a Shed is not a building, but the connections and relationships between its members.”

With a site at the BoA Football Club now secured, volunteers are working hard at preparing the Shed, and the project has received grants from both the Town Council and Area Board to further enable progress.

Cllr Parker said:

“Once renovations of the venue are completed there will be a launch and the Shed will become an outlet for support, creativity, companionship and well-being for anyone interested in our town.”

When we visited to find out more and catch up on progress last week, Chair of the group of volunteers, Peter Eveleigh explained:

“We explored a number of potential properties and bits of land both in & around the town to look for a suitable premises – settling finally on one (well, in fact 2!) of the redundant buildings on the Football Club site (formally the Sports & Social club) on Trowbridge Road. In parallel with this, a number of public meetings were held to promote the shed, confirm the “need”, establish what we wanted to achieve and a raft of other details. Having received grant funding from the Town Council our team are currently working on preparing the shed, meeting at least every Tuesday from 10am with the target of declaring ourselves ‘Open For Business’ for Easter! If you are approaching retirement, not sure what’s next, concerned about possible isolation, want to do something else or are just missing that banter, get in touch – you don’t need DIY skills!”

To get involved, contact the Town Council or pop along to the Men’s Shed on site during a Tuesday morning meet-up. If you’d like to find out more about Men’s Sheds and why they are so valuable to so many people visit the UK Men’s Shed website HERE






Photos Lydia Booth Photography