Retirement, loss of a partner or long term sickness can often conspire to isolate men at different stages of their lives. Some men retreat to their shed which often reinforces the situation, but Men in Sheds is better than a shed at the bottom of the garden.
It’s a place to meet like-minded gentlemen for company whilst at the same time using skills learned over a lifetime or to learn new skills to do something worthwhile for the community.
The by-product of this is that men find they have a new purpose in life, resulting in a new found confidence and satisfaction as well as forming friendships which go beyond the Shed.
Men in Sheds in Warmley on the outskirts of Bristol have been lending their expertise to help Legs4Africa, a Bristol based charity that provides physical rehabilitation and emotional support to African amputees by recycling redundant or outgrown prosthetic legs donated from UK hospitals and individuals.
“We use the same workshop as the Bristol group of the charity Tools for Self Reliance who refurbish tools and sewing machines so that Africans can earn their own living. So when Legs4Africa asked if we could dismantle legs to go to Africa, we were immediately sympathetic to what Legs4Africa were doing,” said Mervyn Bishop, who runs the Warmley Men in Sheds.
“In the first 6 months of working together we have dismantled about 300 legs – we think Legs4Africa is having a job to keep up with us!”