Whether you own a compact 7×3 shed for your garden storage needs or a large 10×6 wooden shed that you use as a workshop, these wonderful units can be seen in most gardens through Devon and the UK. But one community project is providing a vital service to the people of Exmouth and the surrounding area through its newly erected Devon shed.
The Open Door Men’s Shed was setup by project leader Peter Chalkley to help men in the local area gain new skills, engage with others, and pop by for a cuppa and a catch up.
The project recently opened the doors of its new purpose-built Devon shed, and operating three days a week, offer men a place to try out carpentry, metal work, cooking, IT (among other practical activities) and to socialise.
“Men don’t tend to socialise.” Peter says. “They very much tend to be on their own island, in their own sheds, so this is a good opportunity for guys to socialise and get out of the house. It’s been of massive benefit to a lot of people. There are people that retire and fall by the wayside and we have saved a few, without a doubt,” he continues.
The Men’s Shed is not just for retirees – it’s for everyone! It’s about gaining new skills and experiences. It’s about gaining confidence. It’s about supporting local people and local communities.
Established three years ago, after John Cottingham saw a similar service during his time in Australia, the project has since gained plenty of interest with many people signing up.
The charitable organisation started fundraising and was awarded a grant from the People’s Health Trust, which would fund the project for two years.
“We’ve got a wonderful bunch of people here and it really is a pleasure to come in.” Tony Bennett, 74 (woodwork teacher)
“I’ve been coming for 18 months. A mate of mine said ‘What are you doing?’, as I was just coming to retirement, so I said I would come up and have a sniff.” Syd Foulston, 72 (regular attendee)
“I’ve been here 15 months and learned so much in that time, it’s pretty unbelievable, and everybody helps each other out. It’s a very good place to come.” Alan French, 65 (regular attendee)
The Men’s Shed is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10 am and 4 pm, and welcomes men from any age or background. If you are interested in joining, please contact Peter Chalkley on 07710599742 or project leader Mick Cox on 07913 820362.
At Sheds To Last, we design, build and manufacture a wide selection of wooden garden sheds, wooden workshops, summerhouses and log cabins. If you would like to discuss your options with us, or you are unsure which garden unit you require, get in touch with Sheds To Last and we can provide expert advice and information.