A MEN’S shed has opened up in Wokingham, offering a community-driven space for local men of all ages to meet and work.
There are over 400 Men’s Sheds in the UK, and they aim to provide a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending.
The Wokingham Men’s Shed is currently being set up, with organisers re-purposing the vacant pavilion building on the field next to Latimer Road.
Having secured planning permission to change the use of the building, improvements are now underway, including the addition of a kitchen to the premises.
Chairman of the Wokingham Men’s Shed, Ron Baillie said: “We’re hoping to have our official opening in the first week of December, with renovations fully completed in three months’ time.”
“So far we’ve repainted the outside of the building and started ripping down some internal walls to make extra space.
“We’re going to add in some workbenches and power sockets for our shedders to use their power tools.”
Unlike a garden shed, the Men’s Sheds bring groups of people together rather than fuelling any social isolation within the male community.
Mr Baillie has spent a year working to set up a Men’s Shed, after being inspired by a television documentary he saw. Now in his retirement, he explained: “I just wanted to do something for the community. After seeing the success of the Men’s Shed in Reading, we’re hoping we can grow to about 40 or 50 members.”
Typically, shed activities include woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics and model building and provide a space to share knowledge and build friendships.
Mr Bailie said: “We’re hoping just to tinker and help others, so far we’ve built a few items for local charities, including a wooden tombola for the Ollie Young Foundation.”
Currently open two days a week, Mr Baillie hopes to welcome new shedders and open the Shed for as many days in the week as possible. More information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Wokinghammensshed/