What we're saying

Royal Voluntary Service blog
Find out about the people behind Royal Voluntary Service in our series of guest stories from our volunteers, staff and partners.

Showing 1-1 results

Royal Voluntary Service and the Men’s Sheds Association team up

Royal Voluntary Service has teamed up with the UK Men’s Sheds Association to get men out of the house and into a shed.

One thing that we feel passionate about is helping retired people keep mentally and physically active; and more than half of men and women over the age of 65 believe that continuing to take part in a hobby has helped them to do just that.

The Men’s Sheds Association provides a communal space for men to indulge hobbies and practical interests, be it woodworking, gardening or even building a car!

Men socialize a lot less once they have retired with almost half saying that they only socialise once or twice a month. It’s a real generalisation but true I think, that lots of men are identified by their jobs (speaking as one myself), so the loss of a job through ill-health or just through retirement is often a big blow to men’s confidence and sense of their own purpose. That’s why it’s great to visit the sheds and see men working, talking and doing something good for their communities – it just makes me smile.

Men feel like it is their space to be independent, somewhere they can use their skills to help others, look after each other, or just have a nice cup of tea.

What the shedders say:

"It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and for two days a week I feel I’m gainfully employed. I really feel good working with and helping chaps who often feel isolated in the community. I would need a very good reason not to come."

Bill, 67

What the shedders say:

“It’s great to learn new skills, get advice and sit and have a chat.”


Social isolation is quite common amongst retirees and if the community activities on offer do not appeal, and if sports or going down to their local does not suit them, it can be quite hard to find a place to socialise and meet new people.

Increasing the number of interactive spaces where men can socialise has the potential to provide that vital companionship, and just knowing that there are going to be other men there, helps them feel more comfortable going to the venue.

Men are often quite reluctant to use the traditional services provided by charities as they feel it will impact their independence, but with 8 out of 10 men saying they would prefer to socialise around a common interest, partnering with such an amazing organisation made absolute sense.

What the shedders say:

“Fixing, making and re-using materials has given me the motivation to improve my rented home. It improved my mental state and it gave me hope.”


What the shedders say:

“The Shed lifted my life. Finding the Shed came at a good time, I was low.”


Posted by at 14:00 Thursday, 02 July 2015.

Labels: Men’s Sheds Association