Back Eltham’s Men In Sheds for a lottery prize

If you’ve got a spare moment today, do a group of chaps a favour and give one of south-east London’s most intriguing community projects your vote for a National Lottery award – and a bit of exposure on prime-time telly too.

The Eltham-based Men In Sheds group – run by what’s now known as Age UK Bromley and Greenwich – puts the skills of retired men to work in their local areas. If you’re used to working and you’ve ever found yourself not working, you’ll know it can be frustrating and depressing, to say the least. If you’ve retired and find yourself stuck at home all day, when you know you’ve still got lots in you to give, it can’t be good for you – or anyone who might also stuck at home with you.

So Men In Sheds specialises in giving older men with craft skills – or who’d like to learn those skills – a chance to work in the community, and make new pals to put the world to rights with. Examples of their work include a chicken run at Samuel Montagu Youth Club in Kidbrooke, and a wooden bridge at Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham (you’ll see them in the video above).

The Men In Sheds project beat hundreds of other schemes to make it to the final six in the best voluntary/charity project category in the National Lottery Awards, in line for a £2,000 prize and an appearance on BBC1’s The One Show. It’s a worthy and taboo-breaking project, so if you’ve got some spare time today, give it your support. Just click here to vote.

Greenwich Time, 24 June 2013

Rather oddly, Greenwich Council has taken the decision not to plug the Men In Sheds in its weekly newspaper, Greenwich Time – despite the project being based in the borough and having done good works in the borough, including in places owned by the council.

The National Lottery Awards do feature this week – but to push the cause of the Cutty Sark, nominated in another category. While the restored ship is a fine thing indeed, why on earth the council didn’t publicise the much-lower profile Men In Sheds is a mystery. Has someone upset the Dear Leader, or did the council object to its organiser now having the word “Bromley” in its name? Or, in the happy, smiley world of Greenwich Time, is it too much to admit depression exists and needs tackling?

Whatever, it’s a poor show from the council. So give the Men In Sheds your backing – after all, if Greenwich Time won’t feature it, it must be a good thing. And if you want to do more than just vote – get in touch with the Men in Sheds via Age UK.


  1. It is a brilliant project targeting unused skills, perceived lack of value of older people in society, physical and mental health…anything that undermines daytime TV gets my vote

  2. This will be me one day. Great cause and more the worthy of the prize fund. If they need more support they are very welcome to occasionally pop down to my workshop.

  3. Fantastic, great post Darryl. I have to declare an interest here as my cousin works for Age UK B&G almost exclusively with Men in Sheds, and my Mum volunteers for them. They are a lovely bunch of guys and the project does great work, there is a real sense of camaraderie among them and a pride in their work, they also look out for each other and help with odd jobs in each others houses and so on, a really excellent example of a community project.

    So… if you haven’t already, please vote!

    Oh, just remembered. Recently the lovely Tim and Edna who co-ordinate the growing project in Maryon Park mentioned that they’d love their gardeners and volunteers to have somewhere to sit when eating lunch and so on. A quick phonecall to Men In Sheds and they supplied a beautiful picnic bench for just the cost of the wood! So one community project helping another, it bought a tear to my eye (although I was carrying the bench to the project at the time so the tear may have been stress).


  4. Men in Sheds also built the raised beds for the Charlton Station Garden being run by Charlton Community Gardens. Please vote for this great project.

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