It is said that men prefer to talk ‘shoulder to shoulder’ than ‘face to face’, and that’s just one of the many reasons that a nationwide Men’s Shed project began and continues to go from strength to strength, supporting and improving men’s mental and physical health. The community sheds prevent a sense of isolation, reduce depression, and provide fun and creativity through individual, or collaborative projects. Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) is delighted to announce that funding has been received for Chichester to finally have a ‘shed’ of its own and is looking for men to get involved.
West Sussex County Council has provided the initial round of funding to empower CCDT to reach out to the men of Chichester to generate interest in this wonderful community project. The shed is a workshop where the men can come together and use community tools and materials to carry out individual or group woodwork projects. Those who volunteer will be able to visit existing Men’s Sheds in areas such as Southbourne and Littlehampton to see first-hand how such projects thrive, and from that collectively agree what style of shed would best suit those involved. Whilst CCDT will continue to oversee the administrative management of the shed, it will be the men involved that form the terms of reference, design the shed and develop the programme.
Research undertaken by the UK Men’s Sheds Association earlier this year showed the incredible power of such a resource, particularly for men who are retired or living alone. The results of the survey showed that 97% of those joining sheds reported they had made new friends; and critically 89% reported a reduction in feelings of depression. The Association reports that in excess of 12,000 people throughout the UK now enjoy the positive experience of being part of a community shed, and the numbers continue to grow.
“It can be hard for many men to find activities that they really want to engage with, and this is clearly a very successful solution. Our team has visited existing sheds in the region and seen first-hand the incredibly positive spirit they engender, with some members preferring to pursue projects of their own, and others working together to respond to community needs or create items that can be sold to raise funds for their shed’s development,” comments Clare de Bathe, CCDT Director. “We would encourage men of all ages to come forward and express their interest in taking part so that they can help shape the shed as it evolves. It’s a really exciting project that CCDT is delighted to be leading.”
Those wanting more information or to register their interest are asked to get in touch with CCDT by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will respond with further information.