‘Out of making, spring relationships’ – the Norwich Men’s Shed is a physical resource to assist with men’s well being and to offer purposeful activities to aide this. It offers the chance for men to put their practical and craft skills to good use and to help encourage social interaction. It offers a practical approach in addressing a variety of men’s issues. We work with men from 18 years old and upwards, who may have struggled with for example, bereavement, retirement, long term unemployment, disability, depression, poor health, social isolation and/or other difficulties and social disadvantage.
The context we set up the Norwich MenShed in June 2014 is:
• Four times as many men than women commit suicide
• Men are twice as likely to be referred to mental health services
• Only 23% of men would see their GP if they felt low for more than 2 weeks
• Men experience greater isolation than women when not in work, education and retired.
• Men commonly do not access mainstream community information and advice services
The Shed offers the opportunity for ‘getting out of the house’ and engendering a sense of belonging and positive relational experiences with other men. They provide a place where men can meet, make things and put the world to rights! We can provide significant enhancement to the work done in preparing men to enter / re-enter the workforce. The Shed is an invaluable pre-employment opportunity for those who have been in social isolation, struggling with particular difficulties that prevent them from working and offers purpose and meaning as a way to re enter the jobs market. It is also an invaluable means for inter-generational interactions i.e. for older men to share skills and offer informal mentoring support for younger men.
It is a considerably different offer to any that otherwise exists in Norwich that adds to the character and culture of the City. It offers opportunities for volunteering, for men to contribute their skills and knowledge and to build local community assets. The Shed can offer a considerable additional community benefit when it links up to other local activities and services i.e. a school needs billboards made for its next Fete – the men can make one. We produced a pop up Shed in less than a week to contribute to the Mental Health Festival in the City earlier this year.
We have already established strong links with the local community. We have many donations in kind in the form of equipment. We have already worked on a number of collaborative projects in the community and referral agencies i.e. through Age UK Norwich, Norwich Mind, the Norfolk Recovery Partnership, police and probation services, Neighbourhood teams, Housing Associations and the 4Women resource centre.
We have a established and an enthusiastic volunteer management committee and a clear understanding that over time MensCraft will withdraw from the day running of the Shed – with responsibilities and activities being taken on by the ‘Shedders’ over the next 12 months. MensCraft is prepared to remain as the accountable and incorporated vehicle for legal and financial matters in the foreseeable future until such time that the Norwich MenShed has the capacity to do so. .
We are keen to maintain the momentum we have created over the last few months. We need support with developing the next phase. Some 90 men have accessed the Shed since May 2014 but we want to reach more men across the city and increase the numbers attending regularly. We want to ensure the Shed is self sustaining by increasing the trading of products made in the Shed to cover running costs. A coordinator will assist with funding, promotion, networking, organising and developing the skills and knowledge of the voluntary management group and clean up the building. We also wish to develop wrap around activities i.e. link with a local healthy eating catering group when doing open days and therapeutic workshops looking at issues important to the ‘Shedders’.
here is a new video we made for our community funding bid to Aviva Norwich
Message From Andy Wood
Welcome to this edition of the Norwich Men’s Shed Bulletin, particularly to the new Shedders amongst you; this will be your first bulletin as I haven’t done one for while. Since we re-opened in February after our move to Pitt Street in January, we have had a steady stream of visitors leading to an upsurge in new members: we now have over 50 shedders! If you’ve not been down to see the new place, what are you waiting for – get shedding!
Open All Hours!
Opening times for visitors and new shedders as well as members, remain as published: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays 2 – 5 pm and Thursdays 7 – 9 pm Once you’ve had your induction and become a member, there are additional times you can attend. These are from 11 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Your Help is Needed
We’ve also set aside Monday afternoons (2 – 5 pm) to do development and maintenance work on the building. This place has got bags of potential but more needs to be done to bring other areas of the building into a usable state. We would really appreciate a few more people showing up for this. Come and get involved! We are particularly keen to get a good turn out on Easter Monday (6th April) to work with our new neighbours at clearing up the shared outside space. We’ll be hiring a skip to get rid of the rubbish that’s accumulated. We can create some more car parking and even a garden! Access to the old lean-to’s will also enable us to make use of them for storage and bike park and possibly create an area for car maintenance and blacksmithing.
Have You Got a Trades or Professional Background in Woodwork or Metalwork?
If you have, we need your help to ensure other users know how to use the machinery correctly. Its purely about ensuring safe use, not about skills development. Could you spare an afternoon to help us clear others as ‘Competent Users’? Please give me a call or see me or Paul at the Shed.
The Norwich Hackspace group are using the Shed on the evening of Monday 30th March for a joint meeting between us and them. I wasn’t sure what a ‘hackspace’ is, so here’s Marion’s description:
“Hackspace activities are as diverse as the members and can include cooking, knitting, felt-making as well as engineering, woodwork, electronics
The main difference (with Shedding) probably is the funding model, women and a higher emphasis on new technology and cutting edge digital tools – ie expensive equipment that individuals can’t afford.”
Yes, there will be women in the Shed (but not during a Men’s Shed session though)! Do come along and see what you make of Hackspace.
Like a Bit of Drama?
Also, Martin, one of our regular Shedders, is running a community theatre project on Sunday afternoons, and he’s very keen to involve more Shedders. He needs musicians, and set makers as well as budding thespians! Contact Martin to find out more via the shed.
Whittling Returns on 16th April
Pre-Christmas members will remember that Thursday evenings usually meant the chance to do some whittling and green woodworking in sessions run by Graeme. And now he’s back! Graeme has volunteered to run green woodworking on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Green woodworking uses wood cut straight from the tree and pre-electricity powered tools: so that’s carving knives and foot-propelled pole lathes. Graeme will provide all equipment and show you how to do it.
New Leaflet Ready
With a big thanks to Nic, our new, full colour leaflet is ready to be rolled out across our fine city. Please do pick some up from the front desk and distribute them where you can.
The regular Users group meeting: every Tuesday 1 – 2 pm.
The Shed and MensCraft now have a new shared number: (01603) 627074 and 07584 253 441
Look forward to seeing you down the Shed
Norwich Mens Shed to re-open Tuesday 3rd February at 2 pm
47 – 51 Pitt Street, Norwich, NR3 1DE (opposite the mirror and framing centre on Pitt street near the Duke Street/inner ring road roundabout)
Contact number 07584 253 441 (Andy)
Thanks to everyone who has inquired about the Shed over the past month, and thank you for your patience. As hoped, we are ready to re-open our doors at our new premises to existing and would-be shedders. Visitors and inquirers may visit us on the following days. You will receive a warm welcome by our ‘meeter and greeter’ for the day. He will show you around, take some details and find out your interests. Get straight into something or take your time to suss us out. All levels of skill catered for. Get on with your own project or get involved in one of ours. Help is on hand for beginners or those just wanting to try some activity. No pressure to do any activity just come for a chat and a cuppa ! Currently we have woodworking, green woodworking, metalwork, mechanics, music and electronics pc repair and build activities. We now have space to develop new projects and activities so it’s a great time to pay us a visit and share your thoughts on things you would like to do.
Public opening Times at the Shed*
Initially at least we will resume our previous opening times, although these will be reviewed once we get back to normal:
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays 2 – 5 pm;
- Thursdays 7.00 – 9.00 pm
* There are additional opening times for members. Membership is free to anyone once a basic induction into our values, operational practices and safety procedures has been complete.
Hoo Rahh we have the keys for the New building work has commenced already a few plan changes but im sure we will all get it looking ship shape in no time at all See you all on the 2nd of January 2015 at the new place have a Fabulous Christmas and Happy New year
The updated address and map is shown to the Right of this blog page in Pitt Street
Hi Guys things have been super busy for the shed over the last few weeks,A begging list plus just a small update on some things that are going on,most of you will be aware that the imminent move to the pitt street location is under way, it seems like this is almost signed and sealed so only a few more days until we can clarify this for definate, in anticipation we have been trying to plan a few things and have a list of stuff we need to try to get hold of so we are asking for some help in getting hold of a few things. If you know of some of them or could donate time or items please chip in and respond where possible.
Items or things we need are:
A free large Van with a tail lift for a few days or several smaller vans and people to help out moving stuff.
A CHEAP or FREE commercial Qualified Electrician who could certifiy an instalation with the right paper work, this would only require minimal work and a bit of testing as we would do 98% of the fix, Free Advertising recommendations offered in Return for services rendered/ given free !!
any 900mm wide doors? internal ones? sheet wood materials or plasterboard for stud walling
as a secondary consideration we would appreciate any donations of :screws posidrive ones,
current electrical standard cable 2.5mm2 for a ring main
sockets double and surface mounted boxes,
red and brown rawl plugs in fact any fixings!!
any lengths of copper pipe fittings and or plastic push fit 15mm, a white toilet and cistern.
wooden solid garage doors? pair of?
A second hand straight Stair lift for disabled access we can install or remove if one was available we need to get up about a fraction more than a standard house 23 steps ? or accept donations for a new one.
suplementary requests; we are still seeking an Anvil and some blacksmiths tools the forge is almost made. any steel that can be donated is always handy. as are all bolts and fixings
seeking a Bandsaw for wood
we are also still taking on projects to make things to help us fund our move so we could swap things or our services/advertising for what we need.
We activly encourage businesses to sponsor us on an ongoing basis for example we are eternaly greatful to Norwich Estates http://www.norwichestates.co.uk/ for the continued support and donations of wood.
Gentlemen May I proudly Introduce you to our New Baby A Myford ML 7 Lathe with milling capability Im Turning over with excitement to get this little baby running, also Bob will be Thrilled as we also took delivery of a Buffing Machine twin spindle with soap and spare pads and a whole heap ( garage full) of other tools thanks to a Lady Called Leslie, whos partner Sadly Departed, but has left us this greatful legacy, we are sure he would be proud to know that we will respect and make full use of his legacy. as a mark of this we will put a plaque on the lathe. and also try to help leslie out. If i can Gain some more info that his partner is willing to publish about his life i will. we are so pleased that the tools of one true tinkerer and skilled person are available to help others persue the same passion and pleasures in life. With Thanks and on behalf of all the guys, we bow down to thee a humungos help!
A Big Thank You to Steel Masters Norwich Fabricators rackheath
For the Donation of the Steel plate for our welding bench that is under construction.
also allowing us to skip dive for a few odd scraps of metal for welding practice
we really appreciate your donation and help John