Head to the shed to show off your skills

editorial image

Men across Derbyshire with some time on their hands have been invited to attend an open day at the county’s first men’s shed.

The Swanwick Men’s Shed will be officially opened on Saturday, June 17 from 11am to 2pm, and welcomes men from all walks of life who might want to share their skills.

The volunteers behind the project would particularly welcome people who can sort out and maintain tools, want to start their own hobby, such as cooking, computer skills or cycle repair. Also people who can make and/or drink tea or coffee, eat cake and help with shed housekeeping.

The project at Turner’s Farm on Turner’s Lane off Crays Hill, follows the well-established UK Men’s Shed Association model first launched to allow men to make friends, take part in community projects, put their skills to work recycling, repairing or re-furbishing furniture, electrical or mechanical items and help teach others to do the same.

The shed will be opened by Councillor George Soudah, chairman of Swanwick Parish Council.

He said: “It is common sense to use the existing skills of many of the local residents to help tackle isolation. This project will provide some positive and therapeutic activities in a friendly setting which benefits the whole community not just those who attend, and I hope that the project will be a great success.”

Coun Soudah will cut the ribbon using a carpenter’s handsaw donated by the family of local resident Denis Allwood. Following the opening there will be tours of the shed, the animals, farm project, garden beds, tree planting and wildlife pond schemes.

Among those acting as a driving force for the new project is retired Derbyshire Police officer Charlie Parkes.

Having always been keen on woodworking and working on his own projects at home, he learned about plans to set up the men’s shed and was keen to get involved.

The idea for the shed first took off at around Christmas 2015 when the concept was proposed by Valley CIDS (Christians Involved In Developing Society), an independent Derbyshire based charity committed to serving children, young people and families through outreach work in schools and the wider community.

The charity already operates the Turner Farm Project, an educational initiative for disadvantaged youngsters, and bought a brand new shed for this new initiative.

The shed is aimed mainly at men who wish to keep themselves motivated and busy. Organisers say there are huge health benefits in taking part in this type of activity for those who are retired, or between jobs or perhaps those who have taken early retirement and are wanting to keep themselves focused.

If you would like to get involved in Swanwick Men’s Shed or if you have tools or wood you could donate call Charlie on 07967378305.