AgeUK Men In Sheds

About AgeUK Bromley & Greenwich Men In Sheds

AgeUK Bromley and Greenwich Men In Sheds Project provides safe, social environments for older men (50+). It helps overcome isolation and loneliness when men retire or encounter difficult periods in their lives. This project has become a roaring success in a very short space of time. As a result we have significant expansion plans and are fund raising to this end.

Since starting the Men In Sheds Project we have created four static sheds in Eltham, Penge, Biggin Hill and Woolwich. These have been very successful and through our targeting of men over 50 have become a significant mainstay to many, offering what is sometimes the only outside contact they have in their lives. By working together the Shedders have completed many local community projects such as building wooden bridges in the Eltham Pleasaunce, and creating many planters for Biggin Hill High Street. There is also a strong element of inter-generational activities such as mentoring or teaching primary school children some elementary carpentry skills, certainly enough to build simple items such as bird houses. These activities go a long way to involving older men in the community at large, reducing their general loneliness and improving their mental health through socialising. At the same time it addresses the need we have to ensure young people appreciate the value older people will always have in the greater community.

As well as fixed sheds that our Shedders can visit away from their home, our aim is to expand the Project to take it to men who are more vulnerable and unable, for whatever reason, to come to our shed locations.

Currently, we do have a basic mechanism to take these facilities to those men in care homes. Through the use of an AgeUK employee’s vehicle, we have a temporary ability to pack a subset of a standard Shed to be transported and set up at the care home. Setting up in a care home is an additional challenge as they are not particularly suited to such activities, this problem further limiting activities undertaken. The net result is that fewer mobile Shed activities are possible meaning many fewer men benefit from this work. Of course this is entirely unsatisfactory and the need for a true Mobile Shed is becoming critical. To achieve this we will be raising funds to obtain a large vehicle, ideally a second hand mobile library van with easy access for the elderly. Within this vehicle we will set up a warm, controlled environment with work benches and tools so that they might engage in community projects that help with hand-eye coordination and offer a sense of personal achievement.

This is one of our larger goals to be achieved in the coming year.

If you have an elderly relative or friend in a care home you will completely understand the need for such an alternative activity and that they really pay dividends when it comes to your loved one’s happiness and enthusiasm.

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