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We’re delighted to announce that the Men’s Sheds Cymru Association has now been officially constituted as a Cooperative with the support of the Wales Coop Centre and Hafan Cymru’s Men’s Sheds Cymru project.
Becoming a cooperative means that the Association is wholly owned by its members and seeks to ensure that existing Men’s Sheds all across Wales are fully represented and are able to play a part in sustaining and growing the Men’s Sheds movement across Wales. The Association is currently being run by Robert Visintainer (Squirrel’s Nest Men’s Shed) and Alison Pritchard (Dusty Forge Men’s Shed) who is supporting Rob as a additional board member. We’re very grateful to Rob and Alison for the effort that they’ve put in to date in getting the Association to this stage and now is the time to recruit additional board members to help provide the Association and the Men’s Sheds Cymru project with the strategic direction to move to the next exciting chapter in the Men’s Sheds story in Wales.
The Association’s aim is to ensure that all areas of Wales are appropriately represented on the board, so we’re seeking representatives from existing sheds who would be interested in nominating themselves as board members. It is envisaged that the board will meet quarterly so the time commitment should be manageable. To volunteer as a board member, simply email us at the Men’s Sheds Cymru project at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details about the board application process.
Membership of the cooperative is free and available to all constituted Men’s Sheds in Wales. Again, please contact the Men’s Sheds Cymru team at email@example.com for further membership information.
My name is Robert, on a voluntary basis I have been part of The Squirrel’s Nest in Bridgend since 2009 (it has been in existence since 2002). We became aware of the Men’s Shed a few years ago and felt that our ethos, workshop and social aims fitted nicely with those of the Men’s Sheds movement. It was an easy decision to become part of the Men’s Shed Association.
The beginnings of The Squirrels’ Nest stemmed from self-help emotional and mental well-being and this continues to be kept this at the heart of their activities. I think that this is also at the heart of many a men’s shed.
Seeing the huge benefits that come from being part of a shed has inspired me to want to see many more formed in Wales. I’d like to see the stories of men’s sheds told for all to see how a simple idea can have such a positive impact on those who take part and their communities. I hope that the success of a Men’s Shed Association in Wales will help to make this happen.
Just like relationships within an individual shed I believe that an association can create a network of Welsh sheds who enjoy respect & esteem and to help establish & maintain supportive and caring relationship between each other.
I think individual sheds should be shaped by its members, what goes on decided by members and that most importantly sheds should remain in the ownership of its members.
I think that sheds working with long established and much bigger organisations can be hugely successful. But we should be mindful that such relationships should be equally and mutually beneficial, with control and autonomy kept by the shed.
Most importantly of all I believe that sheds should be set up and run on the basis of benefit for its members and community and not for selfish reasons or for individual profit. They should run with good and proper intent and not because they are ‘flavour of the month’ or fit the current funding available – they should be sustainable.
I am looking forward to working with you all, Malcolm and the project team to start to shape The Association of Men’s Sheds Cymru.