Before we explain what a Men’s Shed is, many people reading this will already know from media coverage a little bit about the Shed, but one of our favourite reports is the powerful Billy Connolly documentary.
At the beginning of 2020 we held a hugely successful community interest meeting. Many people came along from all age groups, wanting to be ‘shedders’, they shared their ideas and hopes.
Over the last year, plans have changed several times due to the pandemic. Before lock-down we had secured the use of the land at the side of and rooms within the Parish Hall and as this happened, the pandemic hit, and the Hall closed. Sometimes clouds do have a silver lining and by being forced to explore alternative options we have come up with what we think would be a strong long-term opportunity for the Shed to form and grow.
The Parish Council has agreed in principle to us leasing the old Council Yard at Knowle. This will come with its challenges as we need planning permission, however, our application was submitted in September 2021 and we are awaiting the decision.
Our plan is to have two containers with a canopy between to give some cover for dusty work. A toilet block and tea hut are also planned. We will need funding for this, and we are now starting funding applications, but these will be dependent on planning permission.
We are all under no illusion that this could take a little time and so some of the Shedders are starting to meet regularly, and thinking about how The Braunton and Rural communities Men’s Shed operates. It will be a little smaller than first planned, but it starts to give the Shedders that chance to get their name out there in the community.
Mens Sheds are similar to garden sheds – a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending. The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature while Men’s Sheds are the opposite. They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.
We are always on the look out for tools.
We aim to make available second hand tools for sale. We take items in, refurbish them and then sell them on to raise funds for the shed. Alternatively, if the tools donated are of use to the shed, they will be used in the day to day shed activities.
We are meeting regularly for coffee and a chat, whilst waiting for planning permission for the site to be approved. If you would like to join us or just want to know more, please email us.
Mens Shed UK is the body that oversees Mens Sheds in the UK