Blog

Projects

What we’ve done so far!

Hi!

The Alresford Men’s Shed has been in operation since the end of January…… but some people have questioned what we get up to! Apart from drinking tea of course…. so here goes:

Wood-work projects

We’ve had requests from other charities, and from friends of the Shed, to build some outdoor things from wood. It started with needing shelves for ourselves, to put wood, and the tools on. So we built those, mostly from old pallets, which we could get free. Then our neighbours wanted the same, so we equipped the whole building.

Jackie Porter asked us for some leaflet boxes, to put on one of the HCC sponsored walk routes, so half a dozen of those are in progress. Then friends of Barn Owls needed some “Owl boxes” to put in old barns, so two of those have been built and are pictured. Another neighbour wanted a simple “A” frame advertising board, so that is in progress.

Other projects have involved cutting shop display shelves to length, , and making eight wooden (small) mallets for kids to use in their nature study field courses.

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Barn owl boxes, leaflet box, and other wood type projects

In the photo there is also a kitchen table that has been resurfaced: the legs were repaired and will now be repainted. Also there is the first demo “Bluetit box”, which we could produce for anyone wanting to help their local housing problems for the birds next year.

Repair projects 

Repair projects mostly come in and go back out very fast, so getting pictures is difficult! These are some that could be caught in progress….

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The plastic chairs came from the Community Centre, and the seats needed re-gluing, plus all but one have had new ‘Feet’ added to the legs. The drawers have been cleaned off, and will now be repainted (as per instructions). The chair has lost some of the leg supports – or at least they are not fixed in place! New bits will be added to make the chair legs secure. We have repaired several chests of drawers, and some of these were donated to us, for repair and then sale, in a local auction. Another drawer needed an old handle replacing, which we sourced.

Metal-work and gadgets

Sometimes we can repair things that, frankly, we don’t know much about: like a petrol driven leaf blower that was donated (on its way to the dump), and a really old electric sewing machine. The donations arising from these projects, when we succeed, are always appreciated. One other should be mentioned: one of the Pigs 3-wheel walking aids was heading for the scrap heap, after two wheels fell off. Like a case of “one wheel on my wagon”! But thru one Shed member, who rebuilt two new bearings in plastic, it was restored – then he also found someone who needed it, and had the pleasure of seeing it in use!

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We’re still here, in the Dean, working away, why not give us your repair or wood-work projects to keep us busier? (In return for a donation to Shed funds, plus material costs, of course)

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Opening times

Revised opening times!

The Alresford Men’s Shed has discovered that not many of the members either want to get up, or are allowed out first thing on Mondays! So as from 23rd April we are moving the Monday Shed opening from the morning to the afternoon.

So our new opening times will be

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, from 2pm to 4.30pm

plus Thursday mornings, 9.30 am until around 12.30pm.

Lots of new equipment has been purchased, plus many members have donated their “spare” tools, and lots of timber has come in for general use, donated by James White Fencing and Cleeve Construction, plus several Shed members.

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The Alresford Men’s Shed is Open

The Alresford Men’s Shed physically opened its doors at Unit 1, The Dean, to accept Membership registration forms on Tuesday 23 January, 6 weeks ago. Lots of people came to have a look round, and 17 Membership forms were completed on the day! All were impressed by the transformation of the bare factory rooms into a workshop equipped with work benches, large work and rest areas, and storage rooms. The array of tools available in the workshop is impressive, clipped onto wall boards: most are new, purchased by the Shed using their start-up funding, but since the opening there have been several donations of larger items, such as a chop saw, bench vices, a pillar drill, several electric saws, vacuum extractors etc. We now have a BIG sign outside, for the short-sighted, and anyone else that wants to find us, opposite Valdean Caravan Park.

 

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Two days later, Peter Tudor, a Shed Trustee, completed the first ‘Community’ project in the Shed, by repairing the seat cushions of six chairs from St John’s Church. This was a straightforward task of replacing the hardboard underneath the foam of the seat cushion with a slightly stronger sheet of plywood. Peter says that there are several more chairs that need this sort of attention in the Alresford Church, so more seats will follow! The picture shows Peter with the first six seat cushions, plus also some of the tools positioned behind the workbenches.

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The Alresford Men’s Shed is delighted to accept donations of tools that are surplus to requirements from anyone. Membership is open to all, so please come along to meet the people and see the facilities available. More important, you will be able to visualise what you might be able to do in the Shed, and see some projects on-going. Volunteers are repairing restaurant tables, drawer handles, chair backs, and even making shelves for storage areas. If you have some repair jobs, or something you want building, why not drop in and see what we can do for you? Maybe we could help you to up-cycle some old furniture, for sale to the ‘trendy people’ of Alresford…..

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Opening hours:

Monday and Thursday morning (from 23 April the Monday session will be in the afternoon)

Tuesday and Thursday afternoon

 

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The Alresford “Shed” is Open!

The Alresford Pigs have supported the Alresford Men’s Shed with a substantial donation to help the charity to be established in the town. The idea of a “Men’s Shed” is that it provides a workshop and meeting place, mainly for retired men. If they don’t have many  practical skills then they are still welcome, maybe they can gain them or polish budding skills at the Shed, it is a place where they can meet other guys and become involved in projects, often which benefit the community. In doing so they develop relationships, get out of the house, and gain something with a purpose. Often they would also have their own DIY repair jobs, and other skilled Shed members would help them undertake these, using shared experience.

Frequently their wives also encourage this activity, not only to get the repair jobs done, but to get them out of the house for a change! This might be why the Alresford Ladies Group has also promised the Shed a donation: all the founder members are men – but if there is a demand then they will accommodate ladies who might want to use the woodworking facilities, or other tools, or just need to use space to repair something for themselves. The Alresford Co-op has generously also made a donation, from their Community Fund.

Opening Now!

The Shed Trustees have found some premises in the Dean, in one of the commercial units there. This is short term, in that with the current development plans, in a year or so the site will be re-developed. But in the meantime, the benches and racking for tools are now installed, tools are available, some donated, some purchased, and the Shed will officially open for visitors and Members on Tuesday January 23rd. Initially the opening times are Mondays 0930-1230, Tuesdays 1400-1630 and Thursdays both morning and afternoon: from 23rd April the Monday session will be in the afternoon..

The Shed is looking for projects for the Community, other Charities, and individuals. Materials are chargeable, but the labour is provided – although donations towards the running costs are welcome. Membership is £50 a year. The Shed is located at Unit 1, The Dean: (the Lorem building). Members of the public can bring those repair problems that can’t be done anywhere else, to see what we can do. An underlying rule of the shed is that we do not take away business from anyone else providing a similar service.

The Shed has strict rules for Health and Safety: eg no children in the workshop, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) must be worn, etc.

Over the next year a site for a new Shed is being sought, to allow the Shed members to build a new Shed from scratch.

The Alresford Men’s Shed is a registered Charity. The Shed website is www.alresfordmensshed.org.uk.

 

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Support from the Ladies Group!

There has been a lot of progress in the first few weeks of this year, now that the Alresford Men’s Shed has been able to commence creating the workshop area in 1 The Dean, our first Shed location – look out for our signboard outside the building soon, under the ‘Lorem’ sign. After clearing the rooms, half a dozen work benches have been built, and racking for tools erected.

This website, www.alresfordmensshed.org.uk has gone live.

News from the Alresford Ladies Group

While our search for grants from major donors continues, we are delighted that the Alresford Ladies Group has voted to donate half their Charity giving for 2018 to the Men’s Shed!

Some sceptics might say that the Ladies want to find somewhere to send their menfolk, to get them out of the house, more reasonable people suggest it might be a way of telling the same menfolk to do those repairs, down at the Shed, where someone competent will suggest how to do it! This could be very true, but actually the Shed is expecting to attract Ladies as Members as well, and they will get the same help and support as the male Shed Members. So we look forward to having some of the Alresford Ladies join up too.

The Shed is buying and collecting donated tools, to equip the benches: so please sort the shed or the garage out and locate anything surplus to your needs. We are also looking for projects/jobs that we can do for individuals, or the community more widely, in the very near future – so line up any jobs that you would like us to consider doing for you. Repairing chair legs, rewiring table lamps, covering up scratches – anything is possible. There will be a charge for any materials used, but the labour is free – of course donations to our costs are welcomed.

Equal opportunities

The Alresford Men’s Shed is open to all, men and women.

Our only restrictions relate to children – they are not allowed in the workshop for sensible safety and insurance reasons.

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Alresford Men’s Shed launches!

Heard about Men’s Sheds? It’s the idea that started in Australia*, where ‘Guys’ get together to share skills and launch into doing the things they’ve always wanted to, like repairing broken furniture, making a corner cabinet, re-wiring a lamp – alongside other people who have done it before, and can give a helping hand.

It also gives a social interface away from the home, where you can talk as much as you want, or walk away if it’s a hassle. The idea may be to give your wife some free time, and get out of the house. Beware, there may be some wives getting away from their husbands too, to get those nagging jobs done themselves, with some different advice.

Part of the SHED objective is to provide a Community service, in return for a donation, where little elderly ladies (of Alresford), and others, can get their walkers repaired, and their lamps rewired, or chairs glued.

OK, Commercial over, what about the Alresford Shed?

Alresford Men’s Shed is about to start up! Come and hear the launch plans, the facilities available, not now, maybe not next week, but certainly the ALRESFORD SHED will be OPEN after Christmas! Come and find a use for all the Christmas presents that you might get, particularly if someone else knows what they do.

The Alresford Shed launch meeting is on Thursday 14 December at the ARC, 11am. DO COME ALONG TO HEAR SOME GREAT NEWS and take the opportunity to chat to your fellow potential “Shedders”. Be at the start of it all. Stay till 2ish.

If you do intend coming please let us know as we are planning to provide a simple Ploughman’s Lunch with drinks. Just reply by commenting on this post on the website, see the box below: it will not appear publicly, but the message will get noted, and you added to the list for future info, if you wish.

Find out how to be a part of it

The Alresford Men’s Shed Membership application form will be available for completion on the spot, on 14 December. Or take one away, and visit us at the “SHED” next year.

There are as yet few rules, but there will be more, for basic health and safety.

All are welcome, there are many “Men’s Sheds” that have both male and female members. Bring your own projects, or come and help with others.

There will be an annual membership fee, and maybe an attendance fee to cover tea and coffee and electricity for the microwave and fridge. We don’t believe anyone can work properly without sustenance!

What has happened so far?

Alresford Men’s Shed has applied for Registered Charity status, and start-up funding has been donated by Hampshire County Council and Alresford Pigs Association. Already neighbouring SHEDs are offering us free spare tools and benches and whatever.

Come and listen to what could be created!

*Background: Australia is a country where guys are guys, and that means they need to have a comfortable place to go where they can do their own thing, and do things, and maybe talk a bit. Search for “Mens sheds” on Google (no apostrophe), or go to menssheds.org.uk: this site is English – beware, there are a lot of Irish Shed websites!