You might not be familiar with the UK Men's Sheds Association but this is a fast growing organisation that, as David Coton discovered, encourages camaraderie and a sense of achievement among its members.
Although happening during leisure time, the sheds are workplaces where individual and community projects are undertaken in the company of like minded people with whom you can swap skills and knowledge.
Sheds are located in towns throughout the country. But it's best not to think of it as a building, people are its lifeblood who you'll find engaged in many different practical activities.
Some have reached a crossroads in the lives such as retirement and the shed is an opportunity for social engagement, changing focus and using time constructively.
They might have skills they want to keep alive and can pass on, while others are only too willing to learn, keeping their mind and body active.
Many of the activities are aimed at giving something back to the community or helping good causes, and usually involve making and mending, particularly in wood.
You'll also find metalworking, welding, milling with some electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering. Reuse, reclamation and restoration are featured strongly, and someone quipped that this applied to the men as well.
Projects can involve anything from repairing a bike, renovating a boat to building a car. You decide what to work on and at your own pace, with the advantage of sharing tools and expertise with others.
Other activities are directed more at the arts with music, painting, cooking and other creative pursuits, the atmosphere is very relaxed and mutually encouraging.
It's true that 'sheddies' are mostly men of a certain age with time on their hands but there are now over 250 men's sheds with a huge range of people including some women and younger people.
If you're interested in joining or even setting up a new shed, all the information you require can be found at the UK Men's Shed Association website.
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