New Community Shed set to open its doors


A communal Shed in which men and women can meet up, share hobbies and make friends is set to open its doors from next month. The GatewaySHED is inviting people to join them on Sunday 5th June, to look around the workshop facilities and be inspired as to what they could make, create or build with recycled and repurposed items.

The official opening of the Foxlowe GatewaySHED takes place at 11:30am during the Volunteer’s Day activities taking place from 10am – 4pm at the Foxlowe Arts Centre on Sunday 5th June. Free workshops, music and hand-on activities will be running alongside stands from local community groups to celebrate volunteers from across the Moorlands.

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Anyone interested in finding out more about the GatewaySHED – is invited to attend the Open Day event between 10am – 4pm, visit the GatewaySHED Facebook page, phone 07423 471 018 or  email: To find out more information about Men’s Sheds across the UK visit                   

Over the last few months, existing members have renovated a derelict garage in the rear grounds of the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek, to create a workshop or Shed space, where members can share the tools and equipment they need to learn new skills and work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace.

Member, Cliff Deighton said, “The aim has been to create a friendly and inclusive workshop space where people can come together to work on individual or community projects. We’ve been inspired by the Men’s Shed movement which started in Australia back in the 1990’s. We wanted to create our own version of a Shed to offer workshop facilities to those who don’t have their own garden Shed or garage or who would like to make things in the company of others – learning new skills and chatting along the way.”

The community Shed is being supported by Royal Voluntary Service which exists to enrich the lives of older people and to ensure that they can continue to live life to the full. They work in partnership with the UK Men’s Sheds Association to support Sheds to set up across the UK.

Jo Phillips, Royal Voluntary Service’s Sheds National Project Manager, who lives in Leek, said, “It’s great to have been involved in setting up a Shed in my home town. There are now over 300 Sheds across the UK – and their benefits are clearly evidenced as places for sharing tools and learning new skills alongside others. We always say that the most important tool of any Shed is the kettle – as they provide great social, physical and health benefits to their members, as people make and create in a friendly and inclusive environment. I’m now a signed up member of the GatewaySHED and have already learnt so many new skills as a Shedder during the renovation process!”