Men often escape to the garden shed as a place of sanctuary where they can get away from the missus for a bit of peace and tranquillity.
But now the idea has been taken to a whole new level with the launch of a Men’s Shed movement - and it’s spread to Horsham.
A band of local men are launching the town’s first Men’s Shed project in a bid to bring Horsham men together.
The idea originally started in Australia in 2006 with the aim of helping older men to get together and have a natter while they tinker with hammers, nails and other boys’ toys.
The shedders themselves decide what they want to do and what projects they take on. This can include everything from gardening and carpentry to mechanics and modelling – even building whole cars or motorcycles.
Since its success Down Under the shed movement has grown in the UK with 200 sheds springing up across England, Scotland and Wales – and now Horsham is set for its own version.
A number of local men met up with the idea of forming a shed following an initiative by Horsham District Council earlier this year.
In addition to providing a social network for older men the Horsham Shed will also aim to mentor younger men in their work and family lives.
Founder Ben Pickstock said: “A Men’s Shed is simply a larger version of a typical man’s shed – a place where men feel at home and can pursue practical interests or hobbies.
“Our aim is to bring men together to share the tools, materials and skills they need to work on projects they have chosen. Above all else a Men’s Shed is a place of leisure where men come together to work and share experiences and friendship.
“Whatever activities are pursued, the shed will be more than a building – it will become a fellowship of men sharing and supporting each other.
“One of the first projects that we have in mind is the building of an Eco Shed, in which a number of the guys are already keen to get involved. Over time we will look to take on other projects around which men come together to share fellowship and the satisfaction of completing practical projects.
“We’re very grateful to Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council for their support of the Men’s Shed project in Horsham.”
The council has offered the Men’s Shed use of Chesworth Farm Visitor Centre. Greg Charman, health and wellbeing manager for Horsham District Council said: “We are thrilled that Ben is leading a team of men to establish a Men’s Shed in Horsham.
“Sheds like this are about more than practical activity, they offer an opportunity for men to encounter companionship and support.
“Horsham District Council plays a key role in improving public health and supporting the shed will enable us to provide support to men facing isolation, depression and other emotional challenges.”