Bembridge Men in Sheds
Men in Sheds – Bembridge
Bembridge Men in Sheds takes a major step forward with the arrival of our first building, sited in Steyne Park.
The Bembridge project follows a number of similar initiatives on the Island, some of which have been supported by Age UK Isle of Wight. Sheds are successfully operating in Newport, Ryde, Cowes, Ventnor, Totland, Sandown, Shanklin and Brading.
The Men in Sheds movement began 20 years ago in Australia to encourage social inclusion among men, many of whom found themselves isolated from local activities. The concept has since spread worldwide with over 450 in the UK alone. Activities are primarily social and based upon what local groups want – ranging from woodworking to model making and restoration; from music to simply a chat and cups of tea.
Bembridge, and St Helens have one of the highest percentages of people over 65 both on the Island and in the UK. Many may therefore find themselves isolated through remoteness from family members, sickness or the loss of a partner – and in need of some company.
Since February 2018 when we held our first exploratory meeting, and without any promotional activities, we have grown into a group of over 20 subscription-paying members with the potential of increasing our numbers when facilities are fully up and running.
The group gained Parish Council backing for the project with a 10 year lease in a section of Steyne Park, where we have planning permission to site two portable buildings, the first of which arrived on Saturday 12 January. We also have backing from Age UK Isle of Wight, who have been instrumental in setting up many of the sheds on the island.
We’re now in the process of applying for Lottery funding to further the project, adding a storage shed, power generator and key tools.
In the meantime we have been active around the area, helping people dispose of unwanted tools, planting bulbs in Lane End Road, making bird-boxes for the Literary Festival, re-modelling scenery for the Bembridge Little Theatre Club and laying a path (to a shed!) behind the Village Hall.
This year we have penciled in building beehives and village planter replacements, alongside getting our new building ready.
If you are interested in joining us, want to find out more or have an idea of where we might be useful then e-mail Ian Graham on email@example.com or come along to the Scout Hut in Mitten Road on a Tuesday at 2pm where we have enjoyed weekly meeting since March 2018.