A successful network of men in sheds has taken off in Maldon and is set to expand across the county.
The ‘shed’ project aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation by creating community spaces where men can feel at home and work on projects in a safe and friendly venue.
The shed is a space they can share skills, socialise and ultimately gain a sense of purpose, achievement and wellbeing.
This has already seen a disused building in Maldon transformed by local men into a community shed. Equipped with tools, visitors work together to make things for the home and garden, or simply to have a chat.
Sheds in Southminster, Rayleigh and West Essex have also now been set up.
At a special event on Thursday 8th September, Councillor Anne Brown, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, will be launching the Essex Shed Network at Essex County Cricket Club Pavilion. Organised by Maldon Community and Voluntary Services, residents are invited to come along and find out more.
Councillor Anne Brown said, "The first time I heard about the Men’s Shed initiative in Maldon I could tell it was going to be a very special project and I knew that the concept had great potential for the rest of Essex, so it is really exciting that it has now reached Southminster, Rayleigh and Chelmsford.
“Loneliness and social isolation in men is often a taboo subject, but the success of projects like the Shed Network have proved a success in other countries in bringing men together into a social space.”
Hamish Macdiarmid, Essex Shed Network Coordinator added: “We have been so pleased with the Maldon Shed project and can see how worthwhile it is for both the Shedders involved and the wider community. In the past 18 months we have supported sheds in Chelmsford, West Essex and Rayleigh and we know there is a real appetite for more projects across the county.”
The Essex Shed Network would love to hear from anyone who wants to know more or wants to start a shed in their area. Contact Hamish on firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 07714 740642.