Kirkby Shed

Men In Sheds

The Men in Sheds movement started in Australia at the turn of the century in response to the high incidence of suicide, depression and mental illness among post-retirement men

Age UK  took up the idea in the UK. Pilot projects started in 2010 at Greenwich, London, Kendal, Cumbria and Blidworth, Nottinghamshire; providing woodworking workshop facilities. This in turn facilitated skill transference and social interaction. Sheds produce items for sale, which is important as members do not see themselves as charity cases but as contributors to a good cause. A group of men from Kirkby started attending the Blidworth Shed and became conscious of the opportunities for such a project in our town. Kirkby Shed is not a part of Age UK, although we gratefully acknowledge their help and support in so many ways in establishing our Shed.
Saint Thomas’ church has sponsored the shed as part of the church’s mission in Kirkby. The vision for the Shed is:

  1. To provide opportunities for social interaction for retired men, through workshop based activity.
  2. To facilitate moving individuals from the churches forgotten to the fringe, and hence to the flock.
  3. To provide workshop facilities for other groups: e.g. NEETS, ‘Women in sheds?’, West Notts. College.
  4. By ministering to the social needs of the community to gain credence and accessibility to minister to spiritual needs.

The Shed has been building and equipping  it’s workshop for over a year and is now ready to function as envisioned.

Attendees include active participants and visitors who just come for a cuppa and a chat. There are no formal membership requirements, except that participants must undergo health and safety training and assessment before using power tools.

We believe that we are progressing with our vision and have already built a group of men [and one woman] who enjoy practising woodworking skills and reviving work based social interaction.

By far the best propagandists for the project are the wives and families of members, who have witnessed the beneficial changes in their loved ones.

I know that I have benefitted personally from my Shed membership and I am not the only one.  The camaraderie and banter of the workplace was certainly something I missed and have now re-discovered in the Shed.


Chris Manning



Men in Sheds website can be found at




Posted June 15, 2016 by stthomaschurchkirkby