A space for men, women and teenagers, and those with terminal illnesses to work together on practical projects
The Story of Man Shed
The missing men…
Hospice staff had noticed that the number of bereaved women who come forward for care and support from us far outnumbered men and we wanted to find a new way to reach out to these ‘missing men’, including bereaved husbands; men caring for their partner; and men coming to terms with their own terminal illness.
The intention was for our Man Shed to be a fully equipped DIY workshop in our Hospice grounds, where men could work alongside each other on a variety of projects including repairing and up-cycling furniture, bicycle maintenance etc. There would also be a communal lounge, which would offer the chance to relax and chat with others. Crucially it would be a space, not only for men, but for our teenage group meetings, patients, carers and for bereaved relatives.
Our campaign to raise £100,000 was launched by John Inverdale and our Chief Executive, Nicki Shaw on 18th March 2015. Our campaign strategy, with the support of the local media, led to the fundraising target being surpassed within three months, reaching over £112,000. As a result we were able to build a bigger workshop, meaning we could help even more people. Our Man Shed officially opened on 20th June 2016.
Man Shed today
Since we opened our Shed doors, many patients, carers and bereaved relatives have been referred to us. Our ‘shedders’ as we call them, have been busy making, mending and re-cycling. They have already created some wonderful book shelves for our library, specially designed gadgets to support patients who need help with everyday activities and their stall at the Christmas fair sold out within a few hours and raised much appreciated extra funds for the Hospice.
We have successfully recruited a number of volunteers to run the Shed. We also have a volunteer “ambassador” who sources wood and other products for the Man Shed. And because of the publicity surrounding Man Shed many local businesses now have a greater awareness of the Hospice and what we do. As a result several of them regularly donate wood and other resources to the Man Shed.
After their council-run wood carving class was closed, the Esher Wood Carving Group has been welcomed into our Man Shed where they now run weekly Friday morning sessions.
“It makes me feel wanted and useful and reminds me of going to work,” I’m overwhelmed, not only with the patience and kindness I’m shown, but also the recognition that I am still able to do something, and have been given it to do!” “A great place to meet new friends and share camaraderie. Life is well worth living.” A Shedder
“Friendship, banter and chat, even at times making a few items!! After Louise passed away on June 20th it has made a considerable impact on me and my sons. It has helped all four of us”. A Shedder
“Giving people some sort of direction and meaning and instructing them is very enjoyable”. A Session Leader
“The best thing about the Man Shed is how we can help the shedders to give them confidence to move on with their life’s after bereavement or illness”. A volunteer
None of this would have been possible without the many generous donations we received. In particular we would like to thank
Surrey County Council for making donations from their Community Improvements Fund and the Members Allocation Fund, the Shanley Foundation and the Piscatorial Bowling Society. And thank you to Broadgate Estates who made a significant donation towards Man Shed in memory of their friend and colleague.
How to get involved
Sessions run in the Man Shed within the grounds of the Hospice. They are open to men, women and young people who are supported by the Hospice. You can work on individual or group projects. Shedders are encouraged to relax, meet others, get involved and have some fun.
Man Shed is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.30 – 15.30.
If you would like to find out more about attending or volunteering at Man Shed please click here.
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01372 468811 extension 320