New community ‘shed’ facility launches with opening fete
Part of the international “Men’s Shed” network, and a member of the UK Men’s Shed Association,
the MAYFACS Shed is celebrating its opening with a Grand Opening Fete.
Intended to help alleviate loneliness and isolation, and improve mental health, “Sheds” are safe
welcoming places where men and women can meet to chat and if they wish use the facilities to
make, repair, or upcycle items.
Equipped with a workshop, and separate relaxation hub area, the MAYFACS Shed has been in
development throughout the pandemic lockdown, and after considerable effort by project manager
Ian Bruce and a team of volunteers, a redundant farm building has been extensively renovated,
and is now ready to open and accept members.
To celebrate this achievement there will be a grand opening fete at the site to allow people to
view the Shed and its facilities, as well as learn about MAYFACS other work.
There will be a village fete atmosphere with other village clubs and organisations showcasing
their activities, demonstrations, selected local high-quality craft and produce vendors,
refreshments, BBQ, and musical entertainment.
Once operational, in addition to being used by groups of men and women, the Shed will host
demonstrations and training in a variety of crafts and skills, with the aim of encouraging skills
transfer between generations, and will effectively be run by the members themselves.
Activities planned so far include woodwork, wood-turning, electrical/electronics, metalwork, art and
crafts, IT skills, repair shop, and bee-keeping, with 3D-Printing, engraving, and others suggested
by members to follow.
The establishment of the Shed has been made possible by grant funding, and generous donations
of materials and finance from a wide variety of sources ranging from private individuals to
multi-national companies, to whom we are extremely grateful.
The MAYFACS team look forward to welcoming visitors to the Grand Opening Fete on Saturday 3rd
July from 10.30am to 3pm, and we hope to have a celebrity visiting to carry out the formal opening
Note: The Fete will be operated as a Covid-safe event, with plenty of outside space to socially
distance. Please bring a face covering if you wish to view inside the Shed, which will be in small,
guided groups of six.
MAYFACS (Mayfield and Five Ashes Community Services) is a small independent charity (no.
1166647) based in the village of Mayfield, and covering Five Ashes and the surrounding area.
Its aims are to offer support to combat loneliness and isolation, improve quality of life, and
encourage social interaction.
The charity’s website is: www.mayfacs.org.uk
The Shed’s facebook Page is: www.facebook.com/MayfacsShed
UK Men’s Shed Association. The MAYFACS Shed is a member of the UK Men’s Sheds
Association www.ukmsa.org.uk. The UK Men’s Sheds Association is a charity that supports the
development of Men’s Sheds across the UK.
Men’s Sheds are essentially workshops where men (and women) go to make things and at the same time
make new friendships and develop support groups.
There are over 700 open and developing Sheds in the United Kingdom. The UK has seen the number of
Men’s Sheds increase by 66% in the last three years.
Over nine million people in the UK say they are lonely and the Men’s Sheds most recent survey showed a
96% reduction in loneliness among people attending Sheds (compared to before they attended Sheds).
This research also showed a massive 89% reduction in depression and 75% reduction in anxiety amongst
the same group. The association also reports that the volunteering value of Men’s Shed members
supporting the local community each year is an estimated £10.5m.
A study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross reveals over nine million people in the UK across all adult
ages – more than the population of London – are either always or often lonely.
Research commissioned by Eden Project initiative, The Big Lunch found that disconnected communities
could be costing the UK economy £32 billion every year.
With lockdown and the projected increases in unemployment, the need for Men’s Sheds has never been
more important. The recent Red Cross research, ‘Life after Lockdown and Loneliness’ showed 41% of
people polled said they were lonelier because of lockdown with 33% stating they had not had a
meaningful conversation in the last week.
Men’s Sheds are amazing environments where men (and women) come together and support each other.
People make new friendships and new communities are formed.
Sheds are spaces that bring men together to make, mend and upcycle, provide men with social
connections, emotional and practical support. This simple idea has had a massive impact on wellbeing,
particularly for men, and helps create healthier and happier men (and women).