May bank holiday weekend for us started with a trip to Saffron Walden for the launch of the new Saffron Walden Community Shed?
What is a community shed?
The Essex Shed Network explains; “it is essentially a safe space for men to come together and share conversation and tools whilst engaging in practical projects (most commonly wood craft). Sheds are places of skill sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction”.
The first shed in Essex opened in August 2014 as somewhere for men to go who are lonely, isolated and needing support. There are currently 17 sheds up and running across the county, with funding available for more to be set up. Each shed has its own individual layout and opening times, all with the aim of tackling loneliness and isolation which is increasingly being recognised as an important health issue among men. Loneliness can seriously impact upon an individual’s physical and mental health and wellbeing and having somewhere to go and someone to talk to can make a crucial difference.
Set in the beautiful grounds of St. Marks College, the Saffron Walden shed was launched to an audience of over 50 people, with the ribbon cut by Clive Emmett and Mike Watts, SWCS Lead, against a backdrop of glorious sunshine and hailstorms. My colleague Kat and I were delighted to offer support of Healthwatch Essex at the event.
The shed opens 9am – 12pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at St. Marks College, Audley End, CB11 4JD.
If you would like information and details of Community Sheds near you, contact the Essex Shed Network directly on 01621 851 891 or our Information & Signposting Team on 0330 500 1895. We can also be contacted via text on 07712 395 398 or email at [email protected] .
Information & Signposting Lead