The official launch took place today of the community project ‘Harlow Men’s Shed’ which is situated in Harlow town park.
The shed is actually a container (which was transformed into a Shed) and transported to its new site in Harlow Town Park.
There was a short opening ceremony followed by talks from Clive Emmett, CEO of Uttlesford CVS on the Essex Shed Network, plus an Essex Shedder gave his account of how their Shed has benefited them.
Community ‘men’s sheds’ are bringing people together to share skills, tools and banter. For many, it has saved them from life-shortening isolation.
Although some men may have a shed at the end of the garden it’s not quite the same as this project which is aimed at getting men together to share skills and experiences.
No matter what activities they are involved in the essence of a shed is not a building, but the network of relationships between the members.
Eugenie Harvey – Portfolio holder for Wellbeing on the Harlow Council interviewed Martin Wedgewood who is the coordinator of Harlow’s ‘Mens Shed’
This is what he had to say …
Men’s shed is an organization which is a national network and the aim is to provide a space for men who may, through retirement or having lost a partner or for various reasons arrived at the stage where they have lost some direction and rather than being at a loose end we provide a safe space for them to meet other men. The theory behind it is that men traditionally don’t talk very much about their feelings in quite the same way as women are known to do but if you put men round a workbench and give them a project they will communicate and it opens up possibilities for socializing which would otherwise not exist for these men.
What activities do these men do?
Well, this is a blank canvas Here we will probably do some woodwork. My personal interest is in stained glass and some metal work and it will develop in line with the wishes of the people who come along. They will be referred, perhaps by GP’s through community voluntary services or they will just find us because they realise that there is such a network and find us on the internet. When the men come here – how the shed develops will be determined entirely by their wishes and I suppose a bit of a democratic process where we will all agree with what we think we want to do with this shedMartin Wedgewood
There are 22 such sheds spread across Essex already with plans to open another 20 over the next 3 years.
This is part of the wellbeing programme offered through Harlow Council.
Parking is available at Netteswell Cross Car Park CM20 2QB which is approximately 5 minutes walk from the shed. Follow the signs from the car park which says ‘Harlow Shed’
Contact the Essex Shed Network
Tel: 07714 740 642