As Care Coordinator for Corsham and Box, part of my role is to try to build up social networks for patients of both surgeries.
One project I have undertaken is to try to get a ‘Mens Shed’ going in Corsham. The passage below is from the Men’s Shed Association website:
A Men’s Shed is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A Men’s Shed offers this to a group of such 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.
A Shed’s activities usually involve making or mending in wood (e.g. carpentry, joinery, turning, carving, whittling, marquetry, furniture renovation) and may include activities as varied as bike repair, gardening, vehicle repair, tool renovation, upholstery, boat renovation, model engineering, milling, turning in plastics, etc. Reclamation, reuse and restoration will feature strongly – and some say that is true of the men too! Although Sheds mostly attract older men, some have included men of any age, women and young people. Whichever activities are pursued the essence of a Shed is not a building, which some don’t have, but the network of relationships between the members.
What the website doesn’t mention is that whilst sharing tools and tips men will also, once they get to know and trust each other, share advice and support. They may even develop friendships which will carry on outside the Shed. It is my hope that it will offer an opportunity for those who are carers to have some time away from their responsibilities, and those who live alone to have support and friendship offered in a way that is acceptable to them. It will never be labelled as a Support Group of course but it is my hope the Shed will become just that.
OK, so why am I telling you all this? The problem I have initially is venue. Ideally I would like somewhere the group can use woodworking tools and materials, and be able to leave them out or have a cupboard/storage, rather than have to lift them in and out of car boots each session. Men’s Sheds were originally housed in garden sheds so we’re not fussy, we just need a roof and a power point or two! If you know somewhere that might just fit the bill, please do contact me at the surgery.
Corsham & Box
Porch Surgery, Corsham: 01249 712232
Box Surgery: 01225 742361