The Long Sutton Men's Shed's charitable objectives:
To promote social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing people (particularly but not exclusively older men), within Long Sutton and the surrounding area, from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society through the provision of facilities in which they can meet jointly or individually to undertake creative, physical or recreational activities, learn or pass on skills and knowledge and support each other socially. For the purpose of this clause 'socially excluded' means being excluded from society, or parts of society, as a result of one of more of the following factors: unemployment; financial hardship; youth or old age; ill health (physical or mental).
Stave off Loneliness
When people hear the word shed, they may think about a rickety wooden building at the bottom of a garden crawling with spiders, filled with old paint tins, a lawn- mower and out-of-date weedkiller. It has also been associated with the term “man cave” – a space where a man spends time on his own, tinkering with junk or avoiding his partner. But our new research found there was more to the humble shed than meets the eye – mainly thanks to a revolutionary social programme which is fighting loneliness.Loneliness is a key challenge for contemporary times and while it can be experienced by people of any age, it can impact older people particularly. The number of people over the age of 65 who live in the UK continues to increase and 3.6m older people live alone. Age UK found that for many older people their main source of activity is watching television.
While many older people look forward to retirement and have the resources and social connections to enjoy their leisure time, there are others who face loss of social support, changes to living arrangements, and a decline in physical and emotional well-being. Loneliness can be as a result of retirement (voluntary or forced), becoming unwell or the death of close friends or a spouse.
Older men are more at risk of loneliness. The impact of feeling isolated or lonely has been compared to obesity and increases the risk of a decline in cognitive abilities and reported anxiety and depression.
Meeting friends and making things.
Men’s Sheds is a social programme which aims to help provide community spaces for men to boost emotional and physical health. Originating in Australia in 1998, Men’s Sheds is now a global programme with hundreds of projects across the UK, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Australia and the US. The sheds are usually workshop spaces but can also be in garages, portable cabins or other community buildings. They provide a space for men to make things or do other leisure activities and are about meeting other men with similar interests, sharing skills and knowledge.
Men's Sheds aren't just about woodwork. Many Sheds have a diverse range of activities on offer, including metal craft, electronics, 3D printing, gardening, pottery and even computer programming in some Sheds.