UK Men’s Sheds to host ‘The Parliament Shed’ in Westminster

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UK Men’s Sheds Association (UKMSA) will erect a Men’s Shed at Portcullis House in the Palace of Westminster estate from 18th to the 22nd March 2024 in a drive to raise awareness of men’s wellbeing and the Men’s Shed movement.

‘The Parliament Shed’ has been custom-built and is designed to highlight the health, wellbeing and social benefits of community-run Men’s Sheds and the key areas where Sheds make an impact.

Expert partners from partners and shedders such as the Zero Suicide Alliance and the Centre for Ageing Better will join UKMSA and shedders from around the UK to explain the causes and promote the benefits of their work. Topics include: Suicide Prevention, Mental Health, Men’s Health and Loneliness.

With over 1,100 Men’s Sheds across the UK and over 33,000 ‘Shedders’, the UKMSA aims to use this platform to engage with people working in the parliamentary estate and government to raise the profile of the Men’s Sheds movement, and highlight the causes and partners engaged at the event.

Charlie Bethel, chief executive officer said, “Men’s Sheds work because they are a simple concept people can relate to. Whether it is a Shed building bird boxes or mending football boots and bikes to give to disadvantaged children in their communities, you can see a real pride and sense of achievement in everyone who comes through the door of a Shed.’

In addition, UKMSA will be announcing a formal partnership with Royal British Legion at The Parliament Shed. ‘Many Sheds in the UK have veterans in. With the Royal British Legion we hope to increase that number by helping Sheds become more accessible, particularly for people with conditions such as PTSD. We believe this agreement will also see more Sheds opened and we can have more of an impact on communities across the UK. We are particularly proud to be working on establishing Dementia Sheds across the six RBL Care Homes.’ explained Charlie Bethel of UKMSA.

The Parliament Shed was donated by Wickes, Onduline and Power Sheds and has been adapted by Black Park Shed in Buckinghamshire for the week-long event in Parliament. Tools, equipment and supplies have been provided by Axminster Tools Ltd, TiteFix and Ronseal.

The Men’s Shed movement, originating in Australia around 1999, has rapidly expanded globally, reaching
countries like New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Canada, Europe, and the USA, with approximately 2000 Sheds worldwide by 2020. These community-driven initiatives offer men access to tools, workbenches, and opportunities for making and mending alongside others. The UK Men’s Sheds Association (UKMSA) defines a Shed as a group, whether or not it has a physical location for activities. Sheds promote physical and mental wellbeing by providing a space for creativity, skill development, and social integration within local communities.

Images courtesy of the UK Men’s Sheds Association.

Candy O'Donovan

Candy is an editor and proofreader and also looks after all things advertising for Sorted. She’s also a part-time gardener/fence-builder/decorator. When not working, she’s usually ringing church bells, paddleboarding or thinking up quiz questions.
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