What is a Men’s Shed?
It is difficult to explain what a Men’s Shed is, more so as sometimes the Shed is not a Shed at all! It could be an old shop, a shipping container or held in a community centre. The ‘Shed’ is a mythical structure that encompasses any group of men, and sometimes women who come together to put the world to rights, while using or learning new skills to make various items for the home or garden. it also supports men to alleviate isolation and loneliness by giving them a chance to meet other men in their community, which helps helps with men’s mental and physical health and offers a safe place to be. A true Men’s Shed will not just focus on one activity but have lots of different opportunities.
Amongst the swirling sawdust and lots of noise, add in some banter and you have a lively environment. We offer men a space to carry on with their particular hobby and there is always a chair to just sit in and read a book. There are no timetables or curriculum to follow. You turn up, join in and have a good time.
The one thing we definitely make in the Shed is coffee or tea and biscuits although we also like cake. Our tea breaks are a valuable opportunity to catch up with world events, discuss a health concern or seek advice from others and, being men, we obviously know everything (discuss).
The Kingsway and Quedgeley Men’s Shed is based next to the Police Headquarters in Gloucester and we are an independent and community focused Shed. Our Membership is open to all men aged from 18 with current members coming from across Gloucester and beyond. With such a cross section of men in the Shed skills are shared in both directions and it’s not unusual to have some of the young guys teaching the old boys new tricks, certainly on our CNC machines.
We have two cabins which serve as sheds on our site. Our first is a well-equipped wood workshop, and our second cabin accommodates our Tech Space and a comfortable meeting/coffee room. The Tech Space has a range of IT based equipment. This is where you’ll hear such terms as 3D, Laser or CNC – whatever they are. Our Shed is accessible with ramps to both cabins and some low-level benches.
Members work on their own projects or help and share their skills with others. We also undertake projects to benefit the local and wider Gloucester Community. It could be a bird table or a large caterpillar sculpture for a project at the local library, a bench for a charity or engraved plaques for a community project.
We have been closed due to Covid-19 but now we are allowed to reopen. We aim to be open for least three sessions each week: two mornings and one evening. Although the Shed appears to be normal, and we will certainly try to maximise the opportunities for men within the social distancing guidelines and any other restraints that may be imposed on us.
While we appear at first to be woodwork- focused, we welcome new members to the Shed and are open to the skills and ideas they bring with them. If the gate is open, please do pop in. Our website is: www.kandqmensshed.weebly.com and we are also on Facebook
Brian Heatley, Gloucester.Follow Write Up Your Street: