New 'shedders' welcome!

by Joanna Hammond

New 'shedders' welcome!

Bourton’s Men in Sheds group, which is run by charity Cotswold Friends, is inviting new members to come along and give ‘shedding’ a try at their workshop at the Royal British Legion site in the town.

The group gives people the opportunity to make things for the local community or for themselves, and to socialise over a cuppa.

It meets three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

Cotswold Friends’ four Men in Sheds groups across the north Cotswolds have been set up to help tackle loneliness and isolation and get people involved in community projects.

In addition to the Bourton group, there are also Men in Sheds groups in Moreton, Northleach, and a new group in Campden which has been launched in partnership with Campden Home Nursing.

Rob Platts, Men in Sheds Project Worker for Cotswold Friends, said: “We are looking for new members for our Bourton shed, so get in touch if you would like to join. All are welcome to join us – not just men.

“It’s a great place to get involved with DIY projects in a friendly environment and learn some new skills.

“Our volunteers are here to support you and you don’t need to have any DIY experience.”

Following the pandemic and the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the Bourton group has continued to develop, holding regular meetings for its members. Some ‘shedders’ want to help their community with practical projects, some want to make things for themselves, and others just enjoy a cuppa and a chat.

The Bourton shedders are currently involved in repairing the noticeboard at St Lawrence Church.

Rob says, “You can turn up on a Monday, Wednesday or a Friday morning to just do what shedders do. You can do a lot, or you can just drink tea with us and have a bit of cake.

“What the Men in Sheds groups are all about is meeting the other shedders. It’s all about getting out of the house.

“We make bird houses, bird tables, hedgehog houses, wooden letters, a whole range of things. We don’t look for a high level of skills.

“Some people will come to the shed to use their skills, others come to share their skills and train some of the other members, and others come just to learn some skills or just to talk.

“Some of our members love making things, such as bug hotels, which is a box full of broken cane ends for bugs to go and live in.”

Bird boxes made by the Bourton shedders, and by members of Cotswold Friends’ three other shed sites, are currently available for a small donation to the charity to cover the costs of making them.

Cotswold Friends are also looking for people who may be interested in helping as a volunteer at the town’s Men in Sheds project, to share their practical skills and provide companionship.

If you are interested in becoming a ‘shedder’, acquiring a handmade bird box, or in becoming a volunteer for Men in Sheds, contact Rob Platts on 01608 698557 or email [email protected].

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