Frequently asked questions

What is a Men's Shed?

Men's Sheds is a mental health initiative, for men to get together and share common interests such as practical making and doing. Many men - particularly during or after middle age - suffer from depression, isolation and loneliness - with few outlets and resources available to get out, unwind and chat.

There's more information on the Men's Sheds Association website - but perhaps a better way of putting it is that the Men's Shed is what the members decide and make it to be!

So only men are allowed?

Not at all! The BSE Men's Shed is inclusive and welcomes all who share our values of mutual support and community. So please feel free to attend, whatever your gender, age, ability, faith or orientation - you will be welcome.

Please note that any members under 18 or who have special needs will need their carer/guardian to attend with them - but the above applies, they will be just as welcome!

What happens at the meetings?

Our workshop meetings started very recently so we are still developing the format. The location is equipped for woodworking - we will be expanding the available tools, but welcome input from new members as to what equipment and crafts to develop.

What can I learn?

You may be imagining old men doing woodwork... and we admit that is accurate in some cases! But we are very keen to find members with other skills they can share and develop.

Currently we have members who can help with:

  • Woodwork (furniture/carpentry)
  • Woodturning
  • CNC machining (note we have no equipment... yet)
  • IT skills
  • General DIY skills
  • Repairs

But please do join if you have skills to share and develop - we are very keen to expand this list!

What can I work on or make?

If you have a project that you can work on with the tools and space we have, then of course! We would be glad to both help and learn where possible.

We also have various community projects that require things making if you are looking for the opportunity to help as you learn (including crafts to sell at our stall at events).

Do I have to make things?

Not at all. While the premise of the Men's Shed is that doing and making makes it easier to share, relax, unwind and talk about any problems you might have - members are just as welcome if you just want to chat, play cards - or even just relax in a space away from your usual routine.

Are there any fees?

We want to be as inclusive to entry as possible, but we do have some running costs to cover, so:

  • At our 2023 AGM, we agreed upon a £20 annual membership fee, for the year starting 1 June. This aims to cover insurance and ensures you are fully registered as a member and thus gain voting rights at our AGMs. Members joining mid-year will pay a pro-rata-ed fee.
  • The workshop meetings are at The Centre UK (which operates as a day care centre during the week). They very generously allow us use of it on Saturday mornings - we ask for a payment of £3 each session (please bring cash!) to cover energy usage and other operational costs. The added incentive of this is free teas/coffees from their facilities!

Is membership mandatory?

You are very welcome to attend one or two meetings for a chat and to meet the team and other members. But we do ask you to become a registered member if you wish to continue - so we can keep you informed of events, and get your input on the direction of the shed. Other than the membership fee above, there are no specific attendance or any other obligations for members.