Don’t Just Sit There….. A health event for men


Don’t just sit there is an exciting event taking place just to mark Men’s Health Week 2018.

Taking place on Monday 18th June from 12:30pm the event will feature stand up comedy from John Ryan who addresses the serious business of health in an engaging and amusing way.

Hosted by BBC Essex DJ Ronnie Barbour Don’t Just Sit There looks at the funny side of men’s health whilst offering the opportunity to find out more about local activities to help men get active and stay healthy. The audience will also hear from a professional pop up panel – a series of professionals asked to explain themselves in just four minutes and will also be able to take part in a real warm up event led by James Taylor of Greenfields Housing Association in Braintree.

Being held in the Transition in Chelmsford this free event includes lunch and an opportunity to meet with local charities and groups who provide support to men in Essex.

Find out more and book online at

If you have any questions about this event please contact Hamish on 01621 851891 or email


Hawkwell information event

On Tuesday 17th April the Essex Shed Network held an information event for potential shedders at Potash Garden Centre in Hawkwell. There was a presentation by the Essex Shed Network Co-ordinator about what the ESN is and the work that it carries out across Essex. The meeting gave a chance for men to meet one another and find out a bit more about the future plans for the Hawkwell shed, the site and to have any of their questions answered.

The presentation was enjoyed with complementary coffee and cake and there was the opportunity for potential shedders to mingle and to find out more. Victoria from Rayleigh and Rochford Voluntary Service was present and gave a short talk on her experience of sheds and what they can bring to the men who create and take part in projects.

The day was a success as over 10 shedders signing up to help with the prepping days in the following weeks. There was the chance to have a look at the container on site and to get a feel for the type of work they could take part in. If you would like to be involved please contact Rich on 07540 724275.

Essex Community Foundation (ECF) Spring Reception

On the 5th of April at Ingatestone Hall the Chair of the Maldon Shed and the ESN Coordinator gave a talk to over 80 patrons of the ECF.

They talked on what the Sheds of Essex were achieving and some of the fun and games and benefits of being involved in Shed projects. The theme of the evening was reducing loneliness and isolation and the need for more work in communities to address these issues.

It is hoped that a greater awareness of Shed projects in Essex and potentially some new funding opportunities will result in more Sheds and more men of Essex being involved.

There might also even be a new Shed space just North of Colchester that came out of this talk, so watch this space!!

Are you ready for GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the updated legislation relating to Data Protection that becomes enforcable from the 24th May 2018.

It requires that organisations that process data have policies in place about how it is collected, used and stored and have a lawful basis for their processing. These processes must be accessible and clear to people whose data you hold.

Most Men in Shed projects will hold a database of members which will include information that is classed as personal data such as contact name, address and phone number. You may also record their age or information on health conditions which are defined as special categories of personal data.

For personal data you must demonstrate a lawful basis for your use of the data and for special categories you must demonstrate both a lawful basis and an “additional condition”

More information on GDPR and steps you can take to be compliant are in our new information sheet that you can download from our Resources Page. The Essex Shed Network can also offer workshops on GDPR, if you think this would be of interest please get in touch with Hamish on 01621 851891 or

Hawkwell Shed Info Meeting

On Tuesday 13th March the Essex Shed Network made a visit to the Hawkwell Baptist Church Shed site at Potash garden Centre.

During our visit we managed to have a look around the site, see the container and work out how much space there would be outside the Shed after the Shedders had finished clearing the area.

The new site is conveniently set up right next to the Potash Garden Centre with a complementary café which is likely to be visited by the new shedders on a regular basis, to share a coffee and to discuss the future of the shed.

There will an information meeting held at Potash Garden Centre in Hawkwell on Tuesday 17th April which will present the chance for potential shedders to find out more about what the shed has to offer. There will be information and a chance to talk to Shedders from other locations plus lunch is provided as the event is from 11am – 2pm.

For more information or to enquire about this event please contact Hamish by phone on 07714 740642 or by email at

If you are interested in joining this shed or would like to make a visit to the site please contact Richard Iles on 07540 724275 or email

Behind the scenes at Perrywoods

We at the Essex Shed Network recently had the pleasure of organising a group of Essex Shedders, to take up an invitation from of Perrywoods Garden Centre, for a behind the scenes tour.

The head horticulturalist at Perrywoods, Tanya, led the group through 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.

Tanya was able to answer a multitude of questions with some fascinating answers around controlling pests and animals that visit that shouldn’t including mice, rats, pigeons and hares!

After the tour Shedders from different parts of the County enjoyed a cream tea from the Garden Centres tea rooms and all were able to share stories on setting up Sheds and insights around sheds, gardening and other choice topics!

One of the Shedders present said, “It was good to keep in touch and discuss about shed opportunities”

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.