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Addressing Social Needs

“Men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder”.

*Greg is in his early thirties and attends his local Men's Shed in Maldon. He has been recently diagnosed with a mental health condition, which has elements of compulsive behaviour including a long-standing gambling addiction. This illness and addiction has meant that for the past decade he has had an unsettled lifestyle moving from various homes - at times homeless - had hospital stays due to stress and self-harm and fed his addiction through crime. He is now in therapy receiving support for the mental health condition, and in full time work, and is winning the battle against his compulsive and negative thoughts.

“This is the first time in a long time that I have felt that people care about how I am doing and want me to do well.”

What is ‘Men’s Sheds’?

The community shed programme, or Men's Shed as it's known is exactly as it sounds, a garden shed initiative targeted towards men who may find themselves vulnerable, lonely or in difficult circumstances - the shed provides a place where a man can feel at home and pursue practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A community shed offers this to a group of men where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. They are places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction; a place of leisure where men come together to work.

The Shed Network

Maldon and District CVS have successfully established a Men’s Sheds project and have supported set-up in additional areas across the county. 

Following their success the Essex Shed Network launched on the 8th of September 2016 and the Network is looking to support the start up and growth of Men’s Sheds across the county.

Funded by the Community Resilience Fund and facilitated by Maldon and District Community Voluntary Service, the Essex Shed Network is there to promote the development of Men in Sheds projects throughout the whole of Essex.

The aim of the Essex Shed Network is threefold:

1)    Increase the number of Men in Shed projects in Essex.

The intention is also to facilitate the development of “virtual sheds” – groups of men that meet regularly with a shared interest in practical activities and the wish to have a shed.

These virtual sheds hopefully will lead to the development and opening of workshop spaces however at first will not rely on a physical space.

2) Improve the sustainability of Men in Shed projects through increased networking, skills sharing and pooled resources.

The Essex Shed Network aims to hold at least 2 networking events per year for the duration of this three year project. In addition to these Networking events as the project develops we will be exploring how shed projects can support each other through skills sharing, peer support and shared resources.

3) Achieve outcomes for individual Shedders around improved health and mental health, increased peer support, increased social and community contact and decreased isolation.

The most important element of the Shed Network is to increase the number of people involved with Sheds and achieve outcomes for them as individuals.

Last updated 15/09/17