We are very grateful to the ASDA shoppers in Southampton and the ASDA Foundation for the grant which we were recently awarded through the ASDA Green Token scheme.
Well it’s been quite a year hasn’t it?
We have had to contend with a pandemic, lockdowns, shortages of and rising prices for building materials.
We are still not open for business (hopefully better news on that early in the new year) but we have spent the year preparing our building to open.
This update summarises the progress we have made this year.
We finally signed the lease on our land and got permission to build the shed. We applied for, and received, several grants which have enabled us to make good progress with our building.
We had the concrete base laid and had the main shed building ordered, supplied and erected by Olsons.
This was the ”bare bones” of the building which was watertight and secure, but required us to do the rest of the work to make it habitable.
We have spent the last few months collecting and using off cuts of insulation and plaster board to insulate the shed and to line the walls and ceiling. This work is nearing completion but will not be complete until we have had the electricity supply installed in the new year.
We have water and drainage and (thanks to a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund) we are due to have the electricity supply installed in January. We will then be able to have the internal electrics installed and commissioned.
We still have a lot to do before we are able to open properly, but we have a multi-skilled and enthusiastic team of volunteers that has worked tirelessly this year and will continue to do so in the new year to enable us to open properly as a Men’s Shed.
It only remains for us to say thank you to all of the individuals and organisations (more info on our sponsors page) that have given us grants and donations, of money and supplies and expertise this year and to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2022.
Times are difficult for charities trying to raise money at the moment and so we are very grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund who have this week awarded us a grant to enable us to have mains electricity installed and connected to our shed. We may even have power before the winter really sets in! However that depends on the lead time for installation of the cables and connection to the national grid.
We are still fundraising though as we still need to complete our shed build. If you can help you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ShirleyMensShedElectricity
It’s been a difficult time trying to raise funds during the pandemic. We have been successful with a few grant applications but we still need to raise a significant amount of money to complete our shed build and fit out. If you can please donate whatever you are able on our JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ShirleyMensShedElectricity
This is our first update for a while, and in the background a lot (on our build), and not a lot (meeting face to face wise), has been happening.
We have been restricted in our ability to get together to meet and do much work at our site because of the pandemic, so we have devoted most of our recent efforts to planning and fundraising and we have made some significant progress on our build. We are still trying to meet twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings under Covid and social distancing guidelines. Here is an update on progress.
We took the decision some time ago to purchase a custom made building (rather than build our own) but, even so, as we were starting from scratch with just a patch of ground we have had to (amongst other things):
- Organise and sign a lease on the land – Done.
- Clear the land – Done.
- Obtain building regulations approval for the build – Done.
- Arrange for the provision of water, drainage and electricity. – Partially complete.
- Prepare for and lay the base for the shed to sit on – Done.
- Build the shed – Partially done.
Our shed base was laid in late April by Pro Build and the major part of the shed building was put up on 1st June by Olson Timber Buildings.
This is a very significant and pleasing milestone for us. We have been waiting for this day for almost four years! We now have a weatherproof permanent building (albeit just a shell at the moment!) for our members to meet in.
You can see some images of our progress on our Gallery page http://shed.stjamesroad.co.uk/index.php/gallery/
We now need to raise more funds to finish the building so that we can open properly and allow our members to use the shed.
Just some of the things left to do are:
- Landscaping around the building.
- Insulate the building and plasterboard all the internal walls.
- Install and commission internal electrics.
- Fit a kitchen/clean up area.
- Install and connect electricity and water.
- Install security measures.
- Make sure that the whole site and building are safe to use for all users.
We will continue to progress our build and fit out as funds permit over the next few months. Quite when we will be able to open properly depends though on us raising more funds.
We have been successful in applying for and receiving some grants that have enabled us to prepare the shed base and to contribute toward the costs of utility provision and for the shed itself.
However, we still need in the region of £20,000 – £30,000 to finish the work needed on the building to get it to a state where we can use it fully and safely.
We will be launching a fund raising drive in late June (so look out for that on our social media feeds) but in the meantime if you would like to make a donation please contact us or use our JustGiving page here – https://www.justgiving.com/shirleymensshed
And finally, if you want to come and join us, even if it just to sit and watch us work and have a coffee and a chat, please contact us by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to more than fifty sponsors, we have raised over £1600 for Shirley Men’s Shed from our walk from the shed site, to Totton Men’s Shed, Nursling Men’s Shed and back to ours. If you are one of the sponsors, thank you so much! We are applying for grants which will multiply your gifts several times over. So you might like to know how it went.
Back in September, the weather forecast for Hallowe’en looked quite good for a walk. Each day, the forecast changed between light rain and no rain. Then in the last week of October, Storm Aidan came our way. That morning, just before our scheduled departure, we (Hugh Evans, Pete Baker and I) huddled in the porch at St James Road Methodist Church and watched the downpour subside a bit, so off we went. In a few moments, the rain stopped.
As we turned into Cumbrian Way, it started again, harder. We discussed whether to take shelter, and opted not to as the rain probably wouldn’t continue for long – and true enough, it didn’t. As we passed Green Park, the next wave of rain came horizontally.
After a couple of thoughtless motorists shared Totton’s puddles with us, I tested out my theory that if you walk right next to the puddles and look at the drivers’ faces, they avoid splashing you. It’s a high-risk strategy, but it worked.
We peeked in the unlit windows of Totton Men’s Shed, but they must have assumed we wouldn’t be going. Oh well. The rain stopped as we headed up Salisbury Road and cut through the industrial estate. Over a footbridge, over a stile and suddenly we were in the country!
It’s a very pleasant walk to the next stile, except for the last couple of metres of ankle-deep rainwater, and on to Nursling Mill, now converted to apartments – that must be a very peaceful place to live. Then we took an unmarked footpath heading towards the rather less peaceful M27. Under the tunnel, and we were soon at Nursling Men’s Shed, in the old Church Rooms next to St Boniface Church.
Having allowed time for a chat in Totton, we arrived ahead of time at Nursling and found it locked, but one of the Shedders (Graham) soon arrived, ushered into the dry and made coffee as we had our sandwiches. Then another Brian joined us, and Fred arrived with a big bag of rock cakes. That was a very welcome stop.
Parts of Upton Lane can flood quite deeply and right across, as we discovered, but the sun came out for the last four miles down Romsey Road and back to our Shed site, to a rapturous welcome.
Did we enjoy it? Yes, we did, despite the conditions. Would we do it again? Well, maybe, visiting other Sheds. Would you sponsor us again, and even come with us? You don’t have to answer that – at least, not yet!
Thanks again for your support,
All best wishes,
The Easter event at St James’ Park that we were planning to attend has been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation.
We are working to develop a Men’s Shed in Shirley, Southampton in Bramston Road, behind the Methodist church in St James Road. We have a small shed with a few chairs and a kettle, and we have designs and ideas for a fully sustainable workshop building to be started in the very near future.
We are actively seeking sponsorship and have a number of on-going fundraising initiatives. If you’d like to support us we would love to hear from you.
We currently meet at the Shed on Monday mornings, 10 to 12, where we chat and do the occasional bit of woodwork, except when it’s raining. We also meet on Thursday mornings, 10 to 11.30 or so, at Sainsbury’s cafe in Shirley Precinct, where we swap stories and plan social events; most recently, we put together a quiz team which turned out to be triumphant!
Do come and join us! It’s a good idea to ring our Secretary, Brian Hooper, on 07790 850501 to let us know you’re coming, if you can – then we can look out for you.
There’s an “Easter Eggstravorganza” at St James Park on Easter Monday, 13th April, and we’ll be there. Do come along and say hello!
We have been working hard behind the scenes to progress our project. We are progressing the lease, identifying and applying for grants, looking for sponsors and clearing our site.
Come along to our next public meeting on Thursday 12th September to hear what we have accomplished over the past year and help us select our shed type for the next phase of our project.
First of all, we are very grateful to Southampton City Council who have awarded us a grant to go toward preparing our site for a building. Many thanks to them.
Next, we held another open meeting last week and a small group (lots of people away) discussed many topics. Highlights included:
- We now have a functioning Bank Account.
- We have our first grant (see above).
- We are making progress on the lease for the land, with some good news in the next few weeks hopefully.
- It has been confirmed that we will need planning permission for our shed, so we will have to plan, and budget, for this.
- We discussed options for the building ranging from building one from shipping containers (to be clad probably in wood to make it nicer to look at), recycled portacabins or a new build. It was agreed that we would do more work on the costings and plus and minuses of each before presenting our ideas and recommendations at a future open meeting.
- We are looking for opportunities at local events to advertise that we exist and to get more people engaged, so if you know of any opportunities please let us know.
- We are looking at ways that people can donate and be supporters of our shed. Look for further announcements over the coming months.
So things are becoming clearer, but still lots to do before we can start building.
On Easter Monday we will be at the St James’ Park Easter EggsTravOrganZa from 12-4pm. Why not come along and meet a few of us? Event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/178839046364038/
More soon, including dates for future open meetings.
Notes from latest meeting held on Thursday 24th Jan 2019.
As usual a good turnout of 12 members began with a look at the very comprehensive notes taken by Yolanda. Major news on the land given over to the project Brian (Sec) advised that formal agreement had been reached with the Church and that we will enjoy a rolling 7 year lease arrangement at a nominal cost, many thanks to Brian! We will now work to sign the agreement in writing. Lots of members updated us with their sponsorship efforts, Malcolm Kirk securing a %10 discount off anything we want for the duration of the project with Wickes, Peter Hill has an offer from B&Q to request items in the Store month by month, each request being granted on a random ballot basis each month, and most encouragingly Brian Hooper has submitted a request via Councillor Dave Shields for £2500 news of which any day now. Ian, Hugh and ‘Loffty’ reported on numerous pending requests that have yet to bare fruit! Colin Lockwood had come up against a planning dead end and Ian and Malcolm have agreed to take this on to see what can be done. Hugh to open the Bank Account with Metro bank and signaturees were agreed. Ian gave an update on our Web presence with various numbers of likes and tweets etc on each platform. Other business discussed included other jobs to be undertaken, including quotes to be sought for the installation of various services, ie Water, Electricity, and drainage. Peter Hill to do this.
The meeting finished as usual with the group feeling optimistic about what has be achieved and what needs to be done.
Date of next meeting – 4th April @ 7.30 pm
We have posted our first pictures on our gallery page. These are related to some of the groundwork that has started on site.
Our next open meeting will be held at 19:30 on Thursday 24th January at St James Road Methodist Church.
If you are interested it our progress please come along and just listen, or get involved.
We are now on the map of Men’s Sheds in the UK. The UK Men’s Shed Association allows you to find a Men’s Shed in your local area and we are now shown on their map.
Find out more here: https://menssheds.org.uk/find-a-shed/
First thing to say is, it was a great turnout with lots of new faces.
The meeting began with various reports back from officers in the group, the most important of which was that we are now a Registered Charity, No 1180526, thanks to Brian Hooper (Sec) who saw this process through very smoothly. Brian also reported that works to our allocated site have been agreed, i.e. building a perimeter chain fence and the lopping of trees will go ahead in the new year, partly funded by us and partly by the church.
We are still awaiting written confirmation from the church governing body as to the length of time we are able to use the land given over to the Shed.
Hugh Evans ( Treasurer ) outlined our current financial position and there was some discussion about opening a bank account.
A number of people commented on our excellent online presence and that communications should go through the email given on the website.
We then moved on to our main topic, that of fundraising. Ian Tyas ( Chair ) gave an update on fundraising/sponsorships/donations, an A4 sheet given out and discussed. There was
much talk of companies to approach, and then who would undertake what tasks. Again lots of valuable contributions and offers of help to complete these actions. Members will report back at the next meeting with what progress has been made. Further discussion about other avenues to explore such as crowd funding and how it can be done.
Members also offered to help clear the site and remove waste via trailers etc. We have also had an offered of a garage and it’s contents should this be of use to us, Brian and Mal have offered to investigate. We also have other offers of tools and equipment being donated if we can find space temporarily in the old hut in the car park, a group of us will look at the old hut on Saturday.
Another sub group of Colin Lockwood, Tony Wood and Ian Tyas will meet next week to sort out the outline planning permission requirements.
This was an excellent meeting with lots of enthusiasm, offers of help, and a real sense of momentum, now that things are beginning to progress.
Ian Tyas (Chair).
Shirley Men’s Shed is now a registered charity (No: 1180526). This will help us in raising funds and obtaining grants to help us make progress toward building our shed.
As an aside, we have been offered some tools but currently have nowhere to store them. If you have any storage facilities available (probably until next Autumn) that we could use please get in touch through our contact page.
If you would like to get involved with establishing our shed, or just keep in touch with our progress, then our next open meeting is on Thursday 22 November at 19:30 at St James Road Methodist church, please come along.
Well it’s been quite a week for us. On 25thSeptember the Church council for St James Road Methodist church met and after a successful presentation from Ian Tyas, chairman of the Men’s Shed organising committee, agreed in principle to let Shirley Men’s Shed build its Shed on land owned by the church in St James Road. So we have a site for the shed!
We are extremely grateful to the church for this offer.
Then on 01 Oct we held our first public meeting. Over 25 people attended the meeting and heard about our journey so far and what we are planning next in our quest to build our Man’s Shed.
Ian Tyas said “ Very pleased with the great turnout, lots of men from Shirley with ideas and excitement for this new venture, I’m sure we can turn this level of interest into something very worthwhile!”
There were many questions, discussion and observations ranging from how much is it going to cost and where will the money come from? to what hours will the shed be open and what will members be doing? It was very encouraging to see a good level of interest from our local community.
As Brian Purchase, the Deacon of St James Road Methodist church said at our public meeting “This is a Men’s Shed venture supported by the church” and we look forward to working closely with the church organisation to achieve our goal.
What happens next?
Well, we need to get ourselves incorporated into a legal entity so that we can progress things on a strong and legal footing. We will continue our discussions with the church to reach a legal agreement to use the land offered. We will start our fund raising activities to raise money and also look for sponsors. We will also start looking at options for what and how we build as our shed and start the detailed planning. We are hopeful that we can get or shed built by 01 October 2019 (but don’t hold us to that!).
We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but are encouraged by the interest shown so far.
If you would like to get involved, or just keep in touch with our progress, then our next open meeting is on Thursday 22 November at 19:30 at St James Road Methodist church, please come along.
We are holding a Public Meeting for those that are interested in either helping us set up, sponsor or use our Men’s shed.
The meeting will be held on Monday 1st October at St James Road Methodist Church, in St James Road, Shirley, Southampton starting at Seven thirty PM.
Please come along if you are in any way interested in what we are doing and planning to create.