Norwich Men’s Shed offers a community workshop space for men to socialise and learn new skills, addressing key issues around wellbeing, social isolation and loneliness. We are a skills-sharing cooperative and activities on offer will vary depending on current membership. Our current activities are mainly woodworking and woodturning. Some activities are included within the membership fee, whilst others may incur an additional charge.
Men’s Sheds offer community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. “Shedding” is a grassroots movement; each Shed is set up by and for their community and operates independently with differing offers and activities according to local need.
The Shed Movement originated in Australia as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of men – a popular concept, Men’s Sheds have since grown to become a global programme. There are currently over 580 sheds in the UK with many more in development – as one of the first six established UK sheds, Norwich Men’s Shed is considered a founding shed.
Norwich Men’s Shed was set up by Norfolk based CIO MensCraft in 2013 – we then became an independent CIO in 2017. While we are two separate organisations, we continue to work collaboratively with the common aim of promoting men’s wellbeing. Over the years, Norwich Men’s Shed has grown from a small club with a handful of members into a popular, respected and well-known local charity that actively works with other charities and community projects in the area.
Ian is our Chair – he recently relocated to Norwich (2021) with his wife and family from South London near Gatwick to Norwich for a lifestyle and life quality change. A former Parish Councillor, and School Governor, Ian is an active supporter of local charities and trusts.
Ian has worked as an IT Systems / Software professional for over 34 years in the UK, Europe and America. With a comprehensive work history including public sector roles within the NHS and local authorities, Ian now works as a Project Manager for Norfolk County Council’s Adult Social Care in their Promoting Independence projects team. Alongside his hectic schedule, Ian is also a keen and experienced DIY enthusiast.
“Whilst I won’t be able to join the shed sessions during the weekdays very often, I am interested in the idea of “making things” as a catalyst for social interaction and mental health awareness. There are many exciting opportunities in the future for Norwich Men’s Shed and I look forward to being a supportive part of that journey.”
Richard is our treasurer with many years of accountancy experience. His work history includes 15 years at Aviva in Norwich which followed on from employment in the pharmaceutical industry where he was responsible for the finances of UK & overseas subsidiaries owned by American companies. Keen to share his skills with others, he currently mentors the Finance Manager at MAP (Mancroft Advice Project), a local charity that supports young people, and actively participates in his professional institute's national mentoring scheme.
“The Mens Shed movement is a wonderful concept. When I walk into the Norwich shed, the smell of fresh cut timber and the sight of the workshop immediately takes me back to my childhood, and my dad’s woodworking area at the back of the garage. I am a firm believer in volunteering, in “giving back” - when our sons were young, our family benefited from the support of volunteer led organisations. I really appreciated the generosity and kindness of the volunteers who helped us at that time, and I’m so pleased that I can now do the same for Norwich Mens Shed.”
Matt has been a member since mid-2015 and a trustee since we became a CIO in 2017. Matt is one of our youngest members – employed full-time as a railway engineer, he may not get down to the workshops as much as he would like, but this hasn’t stopped him from becoming an integral part of Norwich Men’s Shed.
“I was lucky enough to join Norwich Men's Shed when we took on our current workshop premises – we were just a small group building a space together. It was honestly a right place/right time thing, and I am so glad I was there. As both member and trustee, I could see how much we were helping men in the community and the potential we had to help many more. Our Shed has grown, changed and transformed so much over the years, supporting as many people as we can within our capacity. I work closely with brilliant, kind-hearted people and can see first-hand the difference the place makes to members.”
Tim is a founding member and has been there from the outset. Tim has taken on many leadership roles over this time – a real driving force behind our existence. A firm believer in the benefits of “Shedding”, Tim is also a trustee at Poringland Men’s Shed – however he continues to take a very hands-on approach – you can often find him at the Shed Workshops, a welcoming and friendly face to both current and prospective members.
“We’re trustees because we believe what we offer is a really important community facility – it is immensely rewarding to see how our Shed has benefitted so many men over the years. Sheds offer a place for sharing skills and knowledge, but also social connections and friendship building – we are always striving to ensure our Shed continues to do what it says on the tin.”