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Men in Sheds - the carpentry commences

Posted on 04 December 2013

Our new Men in Sheds project is now up and running at Barkston House near Holbeck in Leeds!

The Shed is open every Monday and Thursday from 10.00am – 4.00pm for older men to try their hand at carpentry, wood turning, carving and whittling. It’s completely free to attend, all equipment and materials are provided, and no previous experience is necessary.

The shed has been set up specifically to provide men aged 55 or over with a dedicated space for their age group where they can make things, socialise, share skills, or just enjoy a cup of tea. It takes its inspiration from the international Mens Shed’s movement originally started in Australia, with around 50 sheds now in operation across the UK.

67 year old Joe Marsh from Hunslet has been going along to the shed twice a week after his daughter persuaded him to give it a go. He said:

“It’s got me motivated again and stopped me from just sitting at home watching telly. I’ve really enjoyed having something to do and re-capping on all my old woodwork skills from school and doing DIY at home in the past. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

Ted Spencer, aged 83 from Beeston, has also been a regular at the shed since it opened in September. He said:

“I had some previous joinery experience but anyone can come down and start off with simple items like bird boxes and take them home when they’re finished. I’d love to see more people coming along to take advantage of the fantastic facilities.”

Groundwork’s Will Gore says:

“The whole ethos of the shed is that the men decide themselves what they’d like to work on and how long they want to spend there. We’ve already seen some lovely items produced including shelves and a table made from an old pallet, and in the run up to Christmas we’re hoping to start making items to sell at local craft fairs. If you’re not quite sure whether it’s for you, just pop in anytime on a Monday or Thursday and try it out, and there’s always a welcoming cup of tea and a biscuit on offer.”


  • Find out more about the Men in Sheds Leeds project including answers to some frequently asked questions
  • Men's Sheds started in Australia in the mid 1990s to help tackle issues around men's health and wellbeing. There are now over 900 sheds in Australia, and over 50 now set up across the UK. Visit the UK Mens’s Shed’s website.
  • If you have any questions about the Leeds project please contact Groundwork's Will Gore for more details on 0113 238 0601 /