shed pic editOn Saturday 3rd December, Deputy Mayor Nigel Sinden presided over the official opening of a new community resource, ‘Hastings and St. Leonards Men’s Shed’.

‘Men’s Sheds’ is an international non-profit association where men, predominately over the age of 50, can get together, work with tools, learn from their mentors or just enjoy company over a cup of tea with others. It was set up to address a need to provide for a section of the population that can be largely overlooked, when men reach retirement age and may be at a loose end. A ‘Men’s Shed’ is ostensibly a bigger version of a typical man’s shed in the garden, where he can feel at home to pursue practical interests – members can share resources and tools that they may need to work on projects of their own choosing. It’s a great opportunity for skill-sharing and informal learning.

The Hastings & St. Leonards Shed is currently being used by retired gentlemen whose expertise ranges from Health and Safety to photography to carpentry. In fact, preparations are being made by the team in the field on their projects. This fits in nicely with the Shed’s longer term plan, which is to become a valuable resource in the community, both in providing a practical contribution to other groups and in accessing support from agencies within the Shed. Carers’ Break (Adult Social Care) are using the Shed as a resource for one of their clients, and the Health Trainers have already made contact with regard to a service they wish to offer.

Whilst the Shed is named Hastings and St. Leonards, it welcomes those from further afield, but is unable to offer any transport. It enjoys a great relationship with Eastbourne Men’s Shed and there is a great comradery between shedders, all of whom are mutually supportive.

At the moment, the group is reliant on donations, grants and fundraising. It has gratefully received financial and material support from North East Hastings Big Local, Orbit, Steps (Family Mosaic), Stamco and Whyvale Garden Centre, but is always open to any offers from interested parties giving any form of support.

  • The Hastings group meets on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 to 4 at the old Shellgate Centre in Ore village (TN35 5DQ), situated right next to Ore Community Centre. For more information please contact Graham Hodgson on 07399 609329 or email graham@orecommunity.org.uk There is also a Facebook  page –www.facebook.com/ groups/209727366107981/