New community “Shed” facility officially opened in Mayfield by Roger Daltrey

9th July

The Grand Opening Fete for the Community Shed in Mayfield was held on Saturday 3rd July, with the official opening performed by Roger Daltrey of The Who.

Celebrity Roger Daltrey opening the Men’s Shed in Mayfield

Part of the international “Men’s Shed” network, and a member of the UK Men’s Shed Association, the MAYFACS Shed celebrated its opening with a Grand Opening Fete.

Roger has been advocating the Men’s Shed concept for many years and is particularly pleased to see another one opening in Mayfield near where he lives. 

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 a Grand Opening Fete was held at the site to allow people to view the Shed and its facilities, as well as learn about MAYFACS other work. There was 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.

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, a repair shop, bee-keeping, 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 multinational companies.

The shed project has been run by Ian Bruce and his team of volunteers, who have worked tirelessly, individually and in covid compliant groups, throughout the pandemic to transform a redundant farm building into a splendid “shed” facility.

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 amongst 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).