GatewaySHED 1st Meeting

16/09/2015 @ 7:00 pm
Foxlowe Arts Centre

Mens Sheds logo

Men (and Women!) urged to pick up their tools and support a new local Men’s Shed.

Local men (and women!) are being encouraged to dust off their tool boxes and get involved in a new local community Shed – being planned by the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek.  All are welcome at their first meeting.  For more information, read on…

The Gateway Shed is in early days of its development and is looking for more local people to get involved. It is planning on becoming one of a national network of UK based Men’s Sheds that are popping up across the country – a place for making, mending and hobbies where local men feel at home and pursue practical interests with a high degree of autonomy.

The Men’s Shed movement started in Australia back in the 1990’s and since the first Shed opened in the UK 5 years ago, there are now 187 in the UK – offering a place for people to come together to work on individual or community projects, where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue.

Shed’s activities vary depending on the size and interests of their members – but usually involve making or mending in wood (e.g. carpentry, joinery, turning, carving, whittling, marquetry, furniture renovation) but also include pottery, metalworking, bike repair, gardening, electronics, tool renovation, boat renovation, model engineering (model railways, planes) and even building a car! Reclamation, reuse and restoration feature strongly – and although Sheds mostly attract older men, many include men of any age, women and young people.

Peter Kent-Baguley and Cliff Deighton of the Foxlowe Arts Centre are keen to get started on the new project.

“The Foxlowe Arts Centre owns a derelict single garage at the back of the property that we have earmarked to become The Gateway Shed. Early stage work on getting it fit for purpose as a workshop space has already begun thanks to an anonymous donor giving us the funding to make the roof watertight. However, there is still a lot to be done – and we are really hoping that other members of the community will be as excited about this as we are, and help us get this off the ground”.

The Gateway Shed is being set up with the support of the Royal Voluntary Service who have launched a new national partnership with the UK Men’s Sheds Association who support Sheds across the UK. Jo Phillips, who lives in Leek, is the Royal Voluntary Service’s national Project Manager for Men’s Sheds. Royal Voluntary Service exists to enrich the lives of older people and to ensure that they can continue to live life to the full.

Jo says – “We are working with communities to empower them to come together to design, co-produce and own their own Shed – and in turn, to tackle the increased incidence of social isolation among the growing population of older men. I’m delighted to be able to support the set-up of a Shed in my home town and would urge anyone interested in getting involved to come and talk to us”.

The Gateway Shed is now looking for funding, donations of workshop equipment, tools and wood to help the set up. It is anticipated that the Shed will be able to offer volunteer tutors and space to learn new skills or make practical projects to anyone local, in return for a small membership fee.

Anyone, male or female, of any age, interested in finding out more about The Gateway Shed is invited to attend an informal first stage meeting being held at The Foxlowe Arts Centre at 7pm September 16th.

For more information please phone The Foxlowe Arts Centre on 01538 386112 or Jo Phillips – Project Manager Men’s Sheds, Royal Voluntary Service (m) 07423 471 018

More information about Men’s Sheds across the UK is available at