Chichester Men’s Shed – A space for restoration

Keepers Green, Chichester

A man’s shed is often seen as a space to retreat to – a solitary hideaway where projects come to life. A ‘men’s shed’ however has all the same values of making and mending, of retreat and respite, but is far from solitary – it is a space to come together with others sharing the love of restoration, sharing knowledge and laughter. In fact, practically speaking, they are also often not ‘sheds’ but adapted or custom designed workshops.Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) is in the process of creating a brand-new Chichester Men’s Shed. The design and its evolution is being guided entirely by the wishes and needs of the men engaged in the project, and newcomers are very welcome.  

Initial funds were provided by the West Sussex County Council to gauge local interest in such a concept, and on discovering a real appetite for it, further funds of £2,500 were released for initial plans to be created, commencing the planning permission process and further engaging and consulting with the team of men that will take on the task of becoming ‘shedders’. In spite of the lockdown, strong progress is being made and the pictures above provide an insight into the expected look and feel of the building. Design and planning work is being led by Karolina Stephenson from Ben Smith Architects in Chichester.

To be located at Keepers Green, close to the Community Garden and Lodge, nestled alongside the community cricket pitch the men’s shed will be a place of inspiration. Those participating in the project will be able to undertake independent projects they do not have the space or tools for at home, or to work on group projects. Further funds can be secured by commissions received from the community to make or mend items that are needed. 

Members of the team are interested in many aspects of shed work, including woodwork, metal work and electronics. In addition to working on their own projects it is hoped that inter-generational projects will form an engaging element of the shed, with experienced hands providing advice and guidance to the next generation of makers and menders. If you would like to find out more or get involved please don’t hesitate to get in touch with CCDT’s Community Development Officer Angie Bacon by emailing her here.