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Hello and a very happy Movember to you all,
 
Nearly 24 months on from the first cases of Covid we slowly see ourselves returning to a "new normality" where masks and hand gel are common sights.  It is a busy time for us all in an ever-changing world; particularly as we are seeing Sheds open and having their positive impact on the communities they are in.  The transformational energy from Sheds across the UK is immensely important now more than ever, particularly as days get shorter.  
 
Whilst Covid is still with us, people are also struggling with a kind of ‘Post-Covid/Lockdown Blues’; probably for a variety of reasons including an apprehension of what winter might bring and that we are not quite back to normal yet.  Having observed this and discussed it with a number of Shedders it seems appropriate to take a step back from time to time and reflect.  When we look back, it has been a really challenging two years and the impact is not just health, it may also be economic and many have lost friends and loved ones; we should also realise how far we have come in the last two years, that Sheds are still making a difference and we can all still spread kindness and joy to those we meet in our Sheds and in the community.  Covid comes with many challenges and we need to be mindful of the impact of how we might say things; sometimes quiet innocently.

Charter for Wellbeing in Craft and DIY
Later this month we will be writing to each Shed to discuss a Charter we will be asking Sheds, Shedders and all in sundry to sign to support creating positive environments for people in the Craft and DIY world.  We will be asking people to sign the ‘Charter for Wellbeing in Craft and DIY’ and to make a pledge as to how they will make a difference. Making a difference could be simply saying hello to someone new in your Shed, or tidying up after yourself (this would certainly make my wife happier).  In some cases, we hope organisations will sign up to Suicide prevention training or promote Men’s Sheds across their networks and to customers.  Many of you will know someone who has taken their own life or has been directly affected by suicide.  Men’s Sheds is ideally placed to raise the subject and connect with companies and networks to promote wellbeing and hopefully save lives.

Annual General Meeting
A huge thank you to those Sheds who joined the Annual General Meeting earlier this month.  The meeting was very well attended and it was fantastic to listen to the conversations amongst Shedders both before and after the meeting.  One great asset of UKMSA is the ability to bring people together, to create and support networks and enable people to learn through shared experiences.  There was some fantastic learning that we will be sharing in our resources; particularly around how much Sheds charge their members.
 
Membership Fees
At the Annual General Meeting in 2019 in Worcester there was a request made by Sheds for UKMSA to increase its membership fee in recognition that the organisation needs to continue its work and spread the word of Men’s Sheds.  We put this on hold when Covid struck, however we have now reached a point where the sustainability of core services needs to be addressed (we were not protected from the financial impact of Lockdowns).  A combination of more Sheds becoming members, general fundraising and a small increase in fee will enable UKMSA to secure its’ core membership services offer which supports both new and existing Men’s Sheds.
 
From January 2022 the membership fee will increase from £24 per annum to £30 per annum.  We would also like to encourage Sheds that feel that they can contribute more to do so.  Your support enables us to man the telephones, reply to your emails, administer the benefits to Sheds and answer the daily enquiries from the public on sign posting people to Sheds, partnerships and to support people in setting up new Sheds.  There are many people starting their journey into the World of Sheds that are supported by our work and we thank you for your support. 
 
International Men’s Day
Friday (19th November) is International Men’s Day and it has been amazing to see the great pieces of design, poetry and art that Men’s Sheds have shared to celebrate everything Men, Men’s Health, Movember and coming out of Lockdown.  We are looking forward to visiting Sheds and celebrating all things Men and wish you all a very happy and special Men’s day! You can find out more at ukmensday.org.uk.
 
It’s not that easy being green
Kermit the Frog famously said, ‘It’s not that easy being green’, words we may (or may not) have been reminded of with the recent COP26 event in Glasgow.   Men’s Sheds can lead on repurposing and recycling; something we see in Sheds all the time.  Whether it is Pallet planters in Milton Keynes or repairing computers in BlewShed near Didcot we need to celebrate the carbon offsetting of Men’s Sheds – not forgetting that planters and many of the products support working in the great outdoors and helping our wildlife.

Finally, if you feel the Covid/Lockdown Blues, take a moment to listen to the late, great Spike Milligan about another epidemic we can create - 
Smiling is infectious, 
you catch it like the flu, 
When someone smiled at me today, 
I started smiling too. 
I passed around the corner 
and someone saw my grin. 
When he smiled I realised 
I'd passed it on to him. 
I thought about that smile, 
then I realized its worth. 
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth. 
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected. 
Let's start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected! 

Smiling Is Infectious 
by Spike Milligan 


 
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the newsletter and all your support of Men’s Sheds throughout the country.

UK Sheds Design and Build Challenge! 

Let’s celebrate Men, Men’s Sheds and Movember!
Friday 19th November is International Men’s Day, and what better way to celebrate the end of Lockdown, Men’s Health and Wellbeing than joining our challenge to build, make, paint, create something to celebrate all things Men and Men’s Sheds.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE

London Hearts
Helping the hearts of Shedders! 

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership with London Hearts, a registered charity which specialises in the supply of Defibrillators, related equipment and training all across the UK and Ireland. 
London Hearts has launched an initiative to assist sheds in obtaining this life-saving equipment.  It is currently offering full funding depending on your location or a grant up to £500 towards the cost of every Defibrillator it supplies which also comes with free online training. Read more to find out how to access the grant to get a defibrillator in your Shed.

It's Men's Health Month - Show that you care, be aware!


More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day. Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,500 men every year. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer. ­(source Prostate Cancer UK)

It's Men's Health Month, and our new Ambassador in Norfolk, Ray Winder from North Walsham Men's Shed, has written a poem about prostate cancer. CLICK HERE TO READ HIS POEM. The page also has links to the fantastic interview Health and Wellbeing interview with one of the foremost speakers on the subject of prostate cancer in the world– Professor Mark Emberton Dean at UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Have you talked about it as a Shed? If you'd like to know more about Prostate Cancer as a Shed, you can book a talk from Prostate Cancer UK, who do talks for groups as small as five, and up to 100 people. To find out more, click here. Don't be shy, get talking about it.

Homegrown news from the Sheds

Tea at Two - Ask our staff your questions 

You may know that we have a private Facebook Group for UK Sheds and Shedders. Our staff will go live on the group once a week on Thursdays at 2 pm to briefly share weekly Shed news updates and answer your questions in real-time. The sessions are short and designed to be re-watchable. CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE GROUP  (Make sure you answer the questions upon trying to join the group or you will not be let in!) Contact a member of staff if you need support accessing the group.

Fundraising Opportunities

The Allen Lane Foundation
Better Community Business Network Grant Initiative (next grant application deadline
26th November, but there are others too.)
Once again, the Aviva Community Fund is open.


 

Email your stories to: newsletter@ukmsa.org.uk 

Are you a Shedder? Join our lively community over on the private UK Men's Sheds Facebook Group CLICK HERE! 

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