Shedding light on DIY cure for loneliness

THE INNER workings of a shed might not seem a very likely subject for a film, but local filmmakers Charlie Budd and Ben Atkinson discovered tools, tea and a spot of DIY have been changing lives at Men’s Shed Stratford-upon-Avon. The Men’s Shed movement began in Australia as a way for men over the age of 50 to enjoy a shared interest but as well as friendship, people reported an increase in wellbeing and confidence. There is now a network of Men’s Sheds across the UK, open to men and women.

The filmmakers came across the Men’s Shed while looking for a community project to collaborate on and knew right away they had found the perfect subjects for their film. Ben Atkinson said:

“Within half hour of us filming, the shed quickly filled up with local people, crafting various things, operating machinery, drinking tea and having a laugh with one another- it was truly inspiring. Our goal is to promote Men’s Shed to local people who don’t know about it and what it can offer, whether they are looking to learn a new skill, share their technical knowledge or make new friends.”

Men’s Shed were the first community group to find a home at Foundation House, a building that had been empty for more than five years. They approached Stratford Town Trust which was already looking for a community hub where charities, local groups, social enterprises and changemakers could work together and were the first to move in when the building opened in February 2018. Rachel Key, Community Development Manager said:

“Solutions to big social issues like loneliness often start with something as simple as having a place to meet and share an activity. If you’re looking for space to get together, we’d love you to join the thriving community at Foundation House.”

The Men’s Shed are an inclusive group who are happy to welcome new members. They are holding a drop-in session for people to come and see what they get up to on Wednesday 5th June at Foundation House between 10am and 1pm.

John Hancox, Chair of Men’s Shed Stratford-upon-Avon said:

“Ben and Charlie did a great job showing what the Shed is all about, fun and friendship with some woodwork on the side! If you’d like to find out more, pop in and see us. There’s no pressure to join but you’ll know where we are when you’re ready.”

If you would like to find out more about Men’s Shed Stratford-upon-Avon, you can see the film here:


If you are part of a community group interested in hiring a space at Foundation House, visit: or contact them on tel: 01789 295011.