The Chelmsford Shed aims to be a progression of your typical garden shed, where men spend many hours of their days pursuing their practical interests, with the introduction of a community element. The Shed will offer the use of tools that may otherwise have been unavailable to some, the sharing of skills and expertise in areas that others may not have explored, the opportunity to chat and make friends and of course the pleasure of making and building new products.
The Shed movement began in Australia, where there are now over 1000 community sheds open. Community Sheds are beginning to pop up all around the UK, varying from part time projects set up in Village halls and community centres to full time endeavours in Industrial premises with paid staff. The idea came about when older men realised that they could come together, on a regular basis around practical tasks in one shared location, offering the use of more equipment as well as sharing a conversation over a cup of tea. Many older men who have their own sheds have often developed their own skills and interests, but having a larger facility, and the opportunity to share and develop these skills with others is something new.
There are many benefits to opening and running a community shed, one of the most important being that older men can come together and discuss concerns and worries with each other about all sorts of issues that they may be facing, whether that be with their health or any other matter. It is less common for men to open up and seek help with their health in particular, so offering a place where they can get together to form relationships and confide with others is important. Finding a way of working with others and sharing projects with a purpose in view, without the demands of the workplace could really benefit men.