Where did Men's Sheds come from?
This movement began in Australia when men realised they could come together around practical tasks on a regular basis, particularly if they had a designated place or workshop where tools and work in progress could be stored. This appeals to men both living alone or with partners and at all ages although the vast majority of 'shedders' are at or beyond retirement date.
In England the first shed was created by Age Concern Cheshire at Hartford in 2009. There are now over 470 Sheds in the UK, with more always being planned. They vary from full-time projects with paid staff and occupying industrial premises to groups meeting in village halls and community centres for only a few hours a week. Some Sheds are in deeply rural locations, most are in small towns but strangely considering their populations, there are relatively few in large cities.
Our Shed has grown in just three years to over 50 members, the problem that we are now facing, like so many other Sheds, is that we are outgrowing our current corner in the Theatre but plans are afoot for the Theatre to expand its floor area thereby allowing us slightly more room and also to build a new theatre to complement the current Oak and Acorn theatres. Possibly with our rate of growth even that will be inadequate, so if anybody has or know of the odd, unused plot of land big enough for a good sized shed going begging, or an outhouse or barn that has no use and we could employ – let us know, we would be most grateful for such a gift.
When we started it was under the auspices of what was then known as Community Action Fareham. Without them it is unlikely that our particular Shed would have got off of the ground in anything like the way that it did, or whether it would have started at all. For the first two years we operated under their auspices, using their insurance cover and their expertise in organisation. In fact, I believe that it was CAF that found our slot in Titchfield Festival Theatre.
That was probably the most vital step in progressing the Shed. We now have an excellent symbiotic relationship with the management of the theatre. We get premises at a very good rent and the Theatre gets help with scenery, maintenance and the like.
Last year we applied for and got our own charity status which allowed us to arrange our own insurance and the like and made us completely independent of any outside influence.
A copy of our current promotional video is available here on You Tube.
The latest one was uploaded on 07-07-2019