Behind the scenes

We at the Essex Shed Network (ESN) had pleasure in organising a group of Essex Shedders, to take up the very kind invite of Perrywoods, for a behind the scenes tour of their garden centre.

The head Horticulturalists at Perrywoods, Tanya, led the group through various greenhouses, of varying temperatures and points in the growing cycle. She explained the finer points in how they grow their plants and make sure that they are at their best, just as they go into the garden centre for retail.

She answered a multitude of questions with some fascinating answers around controlling pests and animals that visit that shouldn’t including mice, rats, pigeons and hares!

A delightful cream tea was enjoyed by the Shedders from different parts of the County and all were able to share stories on setting up Sheds and insights around sheds, gardening and other choice topics!

One Shedder said, “It was good to keep in touch and discuss about shed opportunities”

Shedders asked for more opportunities for networking and discussion between Sheds at similarly interesting events or trade shows in the future. If you have an idea of an event or place that your Shed might like to visit, please get in touch at or call us 01621 851891.



Your Sheds future structure?

Charitable Incorporated Organisation and Trustee training

The Essex Shed Network is hosting training in relation to setting up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (C.I.O) This format for a Shed project is well thought of and recommended. If your Shed is considering registering as a charity the this training will provide information and  clarity on the roles and responsibilities that those who volunteer as trustees will take on.

Although focusing on the CIO structure the training will also be relevant to Sheds that have registered or are considering registering as a Unincorporated Charity.

The session will cover:

  • Rating your organisation.
  • Roles, responsibilities and legal duties of trustees.
  • Financial duties.
  • Paperwork needed for the Board.
  • Governance and management – getting the right balance.

There are only 5 spaces left so if you are interested in attending please get in touch as soon as possible to reserve your place.

Thursday 15th of March from 9.45 till 1pm.

Location: Uttlesford CVS Meeting Room.

Please contact Hamish on 01621 851891 or to reserve your place.


Occupation of Milking Shed now official

The new Essex Shed Project at Cressing Temple had an official opening on Tuesday 23rd January. This Shed has been created by refurbishing the old milking shed and aims to give local men and women the opportunity to share their skills and meet other like-minded, wood crafts people.

Councillor James Abbott and Councillor Angela Kilmartin from Braintree District Council joined more than forty other guests at the ‘Cressing Temple Community Shed’ and made short speeches focused on the benefits of Shed projects.

The Shed project at Cressing evolved from an ongoing garden project at the site, which has history going back to the 11th Century Knights Templar. Essex County Council have backed the development and the Essex Shed Network worked with the Shedders to help them to register as a Charity, put policies in place and even provided some start up funding.

To get involved in this exciting new Shed please contact Bob at

Men in Shed projects expand to reach more

The Essex Shed Network is launching a new pilot project, in partnership with West Essex Community Men’s Sheds to offer a social opportunity for men who may not be able to access the traditional workshop spaces provided by Men in Sheds projects.

The Shed inside project, which will launch in early January, will enable participants to benefit from the ethos of the Sheds by coming together and increasing their social network.

Sessions will run on alternate weeks and will initially be delivered across two locations; Great Dunmow and Asheldham on the Dengie Peninsula. Held in local community day centres they will feature opportunities to take part in a range of fun and engaging activities and games that will provide scope for social interaction, conversation and enrichment opportunities.

Hamish Macdiarmid the Essex Shed Network Coordinator says

 “Men in Shed projects provide fantastic social spaces for men however due to the workshop environment there are some people who cannot take part, usually for health and safety reasons. The Shed inside project aims to extend the reach of Sheds to include everyone and provide the same camaraderie and friendships to people who can be even more at risk of loneliness.”

To find out more contact Catherine on 01621 851891 (Maldon District) or Susan on 01370 878400 (Great Dunmow).

Local Charities Day

Led by the ​Office ​for Civil ​Society, Local Charities day is being held on Friday 15th December. The aim of the day is to highlight the work of small charities that are making a huge difference in their communities. It is also a chance for individuals who are making a special effort devoting their time in helping others and for those unsung heroes to celebrate their achievements.

Many Men in Shed projects operate as small charities, often choosing the Charitable Incorporated Organisation structure which provides both a registered charity number and incorporated status that gives protection to trustees.

Within this small charity structure projects make big differences to the people they support. On Local Charities Day the Essex Shed Network would like to recognise and thank the many volunteers that support Sheds in Essex  and across the UK.

Hardie Park Shed recruiting Shedders

“Hardie Park have some men, they have a shed, they have some tools – now they just need to make it work.”

In order to run the Hardie Park Shed they require trained supervisors. If you think this might be for you then click REGISTER to show your interest. If you would like to pop along to one of the shed sessions to see if it’s something you want to get involved with then pop down on a Friday morning at 10am.

Training will take place in January and the Shed will open in February on a Monday and Friday. There are two shed sessions being held each day and the cost will be £2 per session which includes tea and coffee.

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Shedders Fair

Shedders Fair took place on the 23rd of November in Northampton and was attended by members of the Essex Sheds, including some from Maldon, Cressing Temple Community, ‘Beacon’ Shed Thundersley and West Essex Sheds.

It was a chance for the Shedders to come together and to network and share ideas with likeminded folk from all over the UK.

The Essex shedders were treated to a buffet lunch and a chance to ask questions and learn about how the Shed Network was developed and where it is today. There were several demonstrations of advanced woodworking tools and group sessions were run with information on the future development of the Shed Network nationally.

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Evaluation Report

In 2017 we carried out an evaluation of the Essex Shed Network and the impact that Shed projects have on Shedders health and wellbeing as well as case studies on individual shedders.

Results showed a range of benefits to Shedders including increased community involvement, confidence in social situations, levels of volunteering,  improvements in their day to day physical and mental health and decreased feelings of loneliness.

The Evaluation report can be downloaded from the resources page of our website

Men’s Shed ‘Toolkit’ Launched

New Resource launched to help Men build sheds

The Essex Shed Network is launching a new Shed ‘Toolkit’ to support communities in Essex to set up Men in Shed projects. The Toolkit which covers topics like finding a venue, health and safety and policy development, promotion and funding also highlights the importance of Shed projects to men at risk of social isolation.

The launch of this new resource coincides with International Men’s Day on the 19th November 2017. This international awareness day highlights the health inequalities that exist between men and women including the global difference between life expectancies for men and women and increased male suicide rates.

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Essex Shed Network Quiz

As part of the Essex County Council’s ‘Art of the Possible’ festival, the Essex Shed Network (ESN) facilitated by the Maldon & District CVS, held a Quiz Night on Monday 30th October, at Witham Public Hall. It was a chance for shedders to meet and talk to others and also the opportunity to learn more about the Men in Shed Projects.

There were six teams present who were all competing for the winning prize! Out of these six teams there were five Shed’s represented, including Cressing, Maldon, Thundersley, West Essex and Dengie.

It was a fun evening which received lots of positive feedback. Fellow shedder’s said they found the quiz ‘interesting,’ ‘informative’ and ‘entertaining.’ The winning team were the ‘Famous Five’.

Those who attended agreed that the questions were challenging, yet very organised and well delivered. Overall, it was a great quiz night and a bigger battle of the ‘Shed’s heads’ in the future, is definitely on the cards!