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Clever And Friendly Men From A Shed in Ash Win Innovation Award

Published on: 14 Mar, 2017
Updated on: 16 Mar, 2017

A project in Ash, in which men come together in a shed to socialise and learn new skills, has won an award for its innovation.

John Fairs of Ash’s Men in Sheds project holds the Innovation in the Voluntary Sector award it has been presented with. Pictured on the left is the Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson; then Kathy Dry from Age UK Surrey; and on the far right Peter Cliff, a trustee of the Community Foundation for Surrey.

The main Men in Sheds activity is woodworking, which is carried out in a well-equipped workshop which includes handtools, portable power tools and small machines.

Supervision is by a well-qualified and experienced leader. Men work on their own projects and also participate in making items for sale to help with funding for the shed.

The project has been presented with the Innovation in the Voluntary Sector award as part of Guildford Borough Council’s Innovate Guildford 2017 Awards.

The Men in Sheds project is supported by Age UK Surrey, and its chief executive officer, Sue Zirps, said: “The award is a real credit to the project, John Fairs who co-ordinates the activities and to all the ‘shedders’ who Attend ‘The Shed’.”

The award was sponsored by the Community Foundation for Surrey, and was presented by its trustee, Peter Cluff (see right in the picture). It has previously made multiple grants that supported the Men in Sheds project and has said it is “delighted to see such a fantastic project recognised in the local community!”

Age UK Surrey adds that retirement creates a void and its research shows that lone men were less likely to engage in activities and social interaction than women. Activities and social inclusion helps improve feelings of well being and fewer trips to the GP.

Ed, one of the new shedders who goes to the project in Ash said” “I lost my wife about 18 months ago and I’m trying to be more sociable, so I was really pleased to find this one on the internet.”

To join the shed and for more information contact John Fairs on 07722 753074 or send an email to

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