On the 14th July 2022 the Mayor of Southampton officially opened Shirley Men’s Shed. That means that today we are officially one year old!
We would like to thank all of our members (old and new) for supporting us during our first year and making use of the facilities that we have worked so hard to provide. It really is great to see new friendships being formed and people enjoying some company, coffee and the odd joke or two with our membership numbers going up steadily.
A lot has happened in the year that we have been officially opened. We have acquired another, smaller shed which we are currently fitting out to use as additional working and storage space. We have reorganised our main shed to make best use of the space available. We have helped our local community by carrying out projects that we have been asked to undertake. We have expanded our membership and our opening hours.
We would like to thank all that have helped us during the year and those organisations that have given us grants to help us get established.
We continue to welcome new members and to enhance our facilities.
This weekend we attended the St James Road Methodist Church Christmas Fair. Our members have been working hard over the last month or so making things to sell to raise funds to keep our shed going. All of the items were made from recycled/upcycled or leftover materials. Here are some of the items on our stall manned by some members.
A couple of our members manning our stall.
Luckily almost everything sold and we raised a significant amount of money that will help us get through the winter.
If there is anything in the picture you think you would like please contact us and we might be able to make you one for a modest donation.
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.
Securing the walls to the base.
The window side of the shed.
Roof trusses being lifted into place.
The inside of the shed.
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.
Ceiling and wall being insulated and lined.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.