The Men’s Shed - a place for creativity and community spirit
The Men’s Shed is a place where men can go to meet new friends while working on creative projects.
Based in Petworth it was set up in February 2011 with the support of Petworth Community Garden project co-ordinator Kate Brickell.
Richard Green has been involved since the start.
He said: “We were the first Men’s Shed in West Sussex, and as we understand it, only the second in the country at that time.
“We started the group because we saw that there was a need for an informal, friendly space for men of the community to meet together and make new friends within an opportunity to work on creative and useful projects.
“We also wanted to create an environment where men could share valuable skills and have the chance to learn new ones.”
Richard describes that the Men’s Shed is a place where men get the chance to enjoy a setting away from home where they can meet together over practical activities, benefit from the social support, share and learn skills and have some fun.
The projects are decided together and individually and made from wood.
Over the years they have made bird, bat and bee houses, bug hotel, bird tables and feeders and hedgehog homes.
Richard said: “We’ve tried our hand at willow work, and we also make smaller, more decorative items like paperweights, display pieces with pyrography detail (burning/etching) and decorated wooden spoons and Christmas decorations.
“We’ve also made things directly for the Community Garden like compost bins, pond covers and raised beds. We even installed the kitchen units.”
If working in wood is new to someone, then the skills necessary to learn are shown to the members and they can work alongside someone else to start with.
He said: “We all learn from and help each other. Otherwise, they can work on with their own project with a cup of tea.”
The sessions take place on Wednesday from 10am to 2pm at Petworth Community Garden, and it started again on April 21 in a revised format for the time being.
For more information, visit mensshedpetworth.org.uk