Nottingham: Men in Sheds outreach expands
Men will be gathering in sheds on Saturday (4 August) …as part of an outreach initiative from St Paul’s Church, Carlton in Nottingham.
‘Men in Sheds’ is a project set up to help men who are isolated, lonely, or going through major life changes. The ‘sheds’ are workshops where men can get together in a familiar environment to make things, drink tea and enjoy each other’s company. The latest ‘shed’ will be launched at 11am and anyone from the local community is welcome to come along.
Paul Howard, Older People’s Advisor for Southwell & Nottingham Diocese, says: “St Paul’s Carlton had eight members to start… we met in the local Pub, where else? The church had an old portable building at the back of church which we looked at to house the workshop but the roof had fallen in and was beyond economical repair. Retired vicar, the Revd Mike Skidmore asked the Diocese for some help with funding to buy the portacabin, machinery, site clearance etc… for the workshop because the church had no money.”
Paul and Mike had meetings with Gedling Borough Councillors to ask for their support to establish a ‘Men in Sheds’ project in St Paul’s Carlton, who offered money and help with planning permission.
The Church Knitting Group also came to the rescue – raising £5000 – and in total St Paul’s ‘Men in Sheds’ project raised £13000 towards the new venture.
“Carlton ‘Men in Sheds’ members converted an empty portacabin to a fully equipped workshop. They installed four work benches which they built from scratch, erected a wooden shed to store the wood and have laid a concrete base for a new toilet block. They have repaired and re-laid the steps and disabled ramp to the workshop,” says Paul.
“So we are now ready to open! On 4 August at 11am the ribbon will be cut and all will be welcome to come and join us…. if you are free to meet with us on Tuesday mornings 9.30am to 12 noon or Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church Carlton Rd, we would love to have you!”
Representatives from seven charities which have supported the project have been invited to the launch, along with members of Gedling Brough Council and Notts County Council, and some local clergy including the Revd Wendy Murphy, vicar of St Paul’s, and David Yates, Gedling Deanery Treasurer.
BBC’s Songs of Praise has filmed another ‘Men in Sheds’ base at Kirkby in Ashfield, which has increased the profile of the initiative since it was screened, and a group in Hucknall is currently working on a new ‘shed.’