Men's Sheds

Unlocking The Shed

Tea “boy” Ray in PPE preparing “Ray’s Café” for a future re-opening in the amenities portacabin

Like most other voluntary organisations, Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed has been closed and in lockdown since mid – March.

The Shed is part of the Midsomer Norton Community Trust and is based at the Farm Shop in Farrington Gurney.  Last November we acquired and positioned a 32 foot workshop behind the big barn at Farrington, and had water and power connected. Then, just as the weather improved and there was talk of smartening the premises with a lick of paint, we went into lockdown and all the grand plans were on hold.

Very frustrating for the members who get great pleasure from meeting and making stuff – the banter is non-stop!

So now, at last, limited steps are being taken to begin a gradual reopening programme. “The aim is to use as much of the fine weather to catch up on all of those outside jobs – while remaining Covid-secure. We fully acknowledge that bearing in mind our age profile, members are at a greater risk.” said Chairman Steve Swift. “We only allow limited numbers as work parties at any one time and personal protection equipment is a must, but it’s amazing how much has been achieved already since the limited re-start. We look forward to the time when we can fully utilise our expanded and comprehensibly re-equipped facilities”.

Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed is open to men and women 18 years plus, of all abilities and skills. We normally meet on Tuesdays and Fridays 9.30am to 1.00 pm but regular meetings are currently suspended. If you are interested in joining when an improved situation permits, please contact Steve Swift on 07775 735789 or email stephenkhswift@gmail.com


New Buddy Benches for Chewton Mendip School!

Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed  – part of Midsomer Norton Community Trust have just made and delivered two special playground benches to Chewton Mendip School.

“These benches have a specific function to help the pupils better enjoy their playground experience” explains Head-teacher Clare Rice.

The multi-coloured “Buddy Benches” are there to ensure that any child who feels lonely or bullied can sit on the bench.  All children and staff are briefed to befriend and if required console any child sitting there alone.

“We are pleased that our organisation can be of help to the wider community” said Men’s Shed Chairman Steve Swift. “I would like to thank the suppliers Charltons Timber and Protek Woodstain who so generously donated materials to help us in his initiative which has now rolled out through many schools in the area.”

Men’s Shed now has a tremendous workshop and social area at Farrington Farm Shop thanks to the generosity of the facilities provided at the farm by Andy and Tish Jeffery.  And with these facilities plus the support of Charltons and Protek, Men’s Shed aims to expand the Buddy Bench scheme to other schools in the area.

Membership of “The Shed” is open to anyone over the age of 18 and is for people of any skill or ability. For each person the first two sessions will be free (just to see if you like it).  If you decide to become a “Shedder”, the fees are £12 per year and £3 for each visit.

The Shed is open every Tuesday & Friday from 9.30 am – 1.00 pm and with membership increasing rapidly may open on other days soon.

Contact Steve Swift    Mobile: 07775 735789 email: stephenkhswift@gmail.com


Men’s Shed support Longvernal Primary School

Men’s Shed members including Chairman, Steve Swift together with Tom from Charlton’s, Associate Headteacher Karen Bazeley and pupils.

Pupils from Longvernal Primary were delighted to be presented with two new colourful benches – a Reading Bench and a Buddy Bench – by members of Midsomer Norton Community Trust’s Men’s Shed. Chairman of Men’s Shed, Steve Swift, explained that Charlton’s timber store generously provide the materials for the benches whilst Protek kindly donate the timber protection and paint.

Associate Headteacher, Karen Bazeley, explained, “At Longvernal, we are constantly striving to raise standards in Reading. Extensive remodelling of the existing building has taken place to provide spacious learning environments and the final stage will be a Reading House. With this in mind, the Men’s Shed has kindly made a Reading Bench which will be located adjacent to the Reading House. In addition to this, they have made a Buddy Bench to enhance playtimes. The children are very excited and grateful to the Men’s Shed for their work.”


We’ve Been Framed!

Men’s Shed Midsomer Norton pose behind their newly-constructed “selfie frame”.

Over a cuppa in their “Shed” at Farrington Farm, Men’s Shed Midsomer Norton were recently asked by farmers Tish and Andy Jeffrey if they would construct a selfie frame in good time for the Open Farm Sunday on 9th June when the farm will be open to show the public everything they are proud of at the award winning venue.

This family-friendly event will host live demonstrations, tours, tractor rides, a huge straw pit, bug hunting, a craft tent and Tractor Ted will be attending with his tractor-shaped bouncy castle – plus much more!

Not only that, but Men’s Shed Midsomer Norton will have their own stand offering recycled tools, etc. at minimal cost, and lots of their own hand-crafted ideas for sale. Some of the items on sale will be in kit form to allow children of various ages and abilities to complete – under supervision. You can also find out what Men’s Shed does as part of the Midsomer Norton Community Trust and maybe consider joining yourself.

This promises to be a great day out and you could even try your photographic skills on the new selfie frame yourself!


Buddy Bench delivered by Men’s Shed

Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed have hand-built and delivered very colourful additions to the play-ground at Hemington Primary School.

The multi-coloured Buddy Bench is part of a scheme to avoid school-children suffering loneliness and bullying. Any child feeling vulnerable simply sits on the bench and other children are invited to engage and befriend him or her. This not only helps the vulnerable child but also teaches the other pupils social responsibility.

Men’s Shed has been supported in this project by kind donations of material by local suppliers Charltons Timber Store and Protek Wood Stain.

Parent, Julie Miller, whose family’s generous donation allowed the benches to be made, said: “This is a fitting memorial in memory of my father who fell in love with the school, when he came to visit with my daughter.”

Hemington School Headteacher, Naomi de Chastelain, said: “We are delighted to be the first school in the area to benefit from this collaboration between Men’s Shed Midsomer Norton and local suppliers Charltons Timber Store and Protek Woodstain. We hope that other schools in the area will adopt this scheme.”

Men’s Shed now has a tremendous workshop and social area at Farrington Farm Shop thanks to the generosity of the facilities provided at the farm by Andy and Tish Jeffery. And with these facilities plus the support of Charltons and Protek, Men’s Shed aims to roll out the Buddy Bench scheme to other schools in the area.

Membership of ‘The Shed’ is open to anyone over the age of eighteen and is for people of any skill or ability. The Shed is open every Tuesday and Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and with membership increasing rapidly, it may open on other days soon. Women are welcome, and if there is sufficient demand a ‘women only’ session may be started.

Current shed Chairman, Steve Swift, said: “We greatly appreciated all the help given by the local community, suppliers and for all of those members of the general public who have so generously donated tools and workshop equipment. Without this support Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed simply would not exist.

“If anyone out there wants to give ‘shedding’ a try, please come along – you will find us behind the Farrington Farm Shop Café. We are a friendly bunch, eager to share a cup of tea and a biscuit!”


We’re in Midsomer Norton Life!

Check out our update in the Autumn Edition of Midsomer Norton Life below.

You can check out the full edition online by clicking here!


Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed to Open on Tuesdays in Addition to Fridays

Men’s Shed are delighted to say that we are now, in response to Shedders’ requests, opening the Shed on Tuesdays 09:30 until 14:30. The first Tuesday session takes place 3rd July.

We can offer tea/coffee, companionship, a place to natter, relax and possibly (if you feel so inclined) a place to make/repair things.

It would be great to see you at either (or both) sessions.

(Update posted 2nd July 2018)


Midsomer Men’s Shed Launch

The Midsomer Men’s Shed Project, part of Midsomer Norton Community Trust, have set a date for their launch of Friday 1st June, 1pm, at Farrington Farm Shop – located behind the Café. A warm welcome is being extended to anyone interested in becoming a ‘Shedder’.

“The Shed will provide a place for men and women to come together where they can work on their own or community DIY projects – anything from making a garden planter to repairing a chair. As much as the work in hand, it’s being together – working shoulder to shoulder and enjoying the company of others”, said Richard Jordan, Community Trust Trustee for the Men’s Shed Project.

The Men’s Shed concept started in Australia where they have been amazingly successful over the last 12 years – to the point where there are 900 sheds across the country. The Australian government has recognised the mental health benefits of Men’s Sheds and now provide them with funding from the savings made from the reduced calls on their health service.

Men’s Sheds are now setting up all over the UK and as such it’s great to see that once again our area is at the cutting edge. Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 and costs £5.00 per annum and £3.00 per visit to the shed. To begin with the Shed will be open each Friday from 9am to 1pm at Farrington Farm shop.

(Update posted 24th May 2018)