The Chippenham Men’s Shed connect retired or unemployed men through activities like woodworking, metalworking and repairing electronics. It’s a place to pursue practical interests, enjoy making and mending, sharing skills and knowledge, it’s about social connections and friendship building and of course a lot of laughter.
For a long time research has shown the negative impact of loneliness and isolation on a person’s health and wellbeing. Recently we have seen more evidence come to light that shows loneliness and isolation can be as hazardous to our health as obesity and excessive smoking. Surveys from mental health charities are finding that millions of people report feeling lonely on a daily basis.
Sheds are about meeting like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge with like-minded people and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. As a by-product of all of that they reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness, they allow men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities and in many cases, they save men’s lives.
Men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, and unlike women of a similar age, less older men have networks of friends and rarely share personal concerns about health and personal worries. It is not the case for all men, but for some, when retirement comes, it can feel like personal identity and purpose is lost. Men’s Sheds can change all of that.
There are many Men’s Sheds in the UK with female members, but most Men’s Sheds exist for the benefits they bring to men’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, it’s really down to each individual Shed whether they invite women, or have separate days for women to join in. One of the best things about Men’s Sheds is they facilitate conversation about subjects that men might usually find difficult to talk about. Some men find it easier to open up when it’s just men, but that’s not always the case.
No, but most of the men that attend are retired. This is because a life after employment can be difficult and men often feel that they’ve lost their sense of purpose and place in the world. They can miss the routine and camaraderie between colleagues that often comes with working life. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation which can be dangerous for their health and wellbeing. However, recognising that age isn’t the only factor in loneliness and isolation, and that there is more to Men’s Sheds, for example sharing skills, informal learning and enjoyment, some Sheds have younger members.
We have an artist here, we have a poet here, we have a musician here, if you want to draw, bring your pad and pencils!
We have good facilities. We have Internet access! Our IT man will be happy to help you get on-line and give advice if you need it!
Come along, have a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit or two or a portion of home-made cake from our Chef Graham!
It's not just about making and mending, we can do this when we have our new workshop, until then come and join us for a laugh and a bit of fun!
A couple of us have spent time down at our Allotment making sure it is ready for the spring. Graham has also worked hard on the plot, getting it ready for planting and the raised beds are now installed!
We now have a lease, so we can push forward onto the next stage in applying for funding for the
workshop and foundation construction!
If you would like to sponsor our Shed or donate, please contact us!
I refurbished and installed two huge gates at the Fellowship Church as a Men's Shed project during lockdown. Can't wait to be back at the shed!