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Men in Sheds - New premises

Published on 17 June 2022 12:26 PM

Age UK Surrey and Merrist Wood College are pleased to announce the official opening of Age UK Surrey’s Men in Sheds premises at the College on Friday 17th June 2022.

The opening of the Shed was part of Merrist Wood College’s community open day, where they welcomed local stakeholders, employers and members of the public as part of a showcase of what the college offers the community.

Taking place in the college’s stunning walled garden, students were on hand to answer questions and showcase their subject areas as well as giving tours of the college’s animal management centre and selling plants grown by the Horticulture students.

A special thank you to Mayor of Guildford Councillor Dennis Booth, Mayoress of Guildford, Mary Booth, Gary Headland DL, CEO of Activate Learning, Sue Zirps CEO of Age UK Surrey, Joy Allen Vice-Chair of Age UK Surrey, Mike Parsons, Guildford Philanthropy and Lady Elizabeth Toulson CBE DL, for supporting the event, together with many local Borough and Parish Councillors and representatives attending. Age UK Surrey’s Men in Sheds is a much-valued service that provides a place for people to learn new carpentry and restorations skills, socialise and make friends.

Merrist Wood College generously provided a disused building in their grounds for the new Shed and with funding support of Guildford Philanthropy and local tradesmen, the Shedders have transformed the space into a workshop.

Funding required for another Shed

Another shed is available for storing larger machinery but funding is needed for it to be restored and made secure. Please give what you can to support this fundraising initiative.

Sue Zirps, Age UK Surrey Chief Executive said “We are thrilled to partner with Merrist Wood College on this exciting new development for our Men in Sheds project. The new premises provide much-needed space that will allow The Shedders easier access to equipment in the workshop including hand tools, portable power tools and small machines and enable them to work on larger projects. The Shed also gives a wonderful opportunity for intergenerational learning, and we are looking forward to developing new relationships between the younger and older people in the community”.

Gary Headland said of this welcome addition to the college: “It was an incredible privilege to open a new 'Men in Sheds' facility at our Merrist Wood College, which we are proud to have as part of the Activate Learning Group. This is a fantastic initiative made possible by the generous donation made by Guildford Philanthropy and in partnership with Guildford Borough Council and Worplesdon Parish Council".

“Projects like this demonstrate the role that colleges play across the UK, adding social value to the communities that they are proud to serve, and I hope this will provide a valuable resource for our local residents for years to come”.