Wymondham Shed project to offer men a ‘sense of purpose’

The Arc at Wymondham, home to The Shed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Arc at Wymondham, home to The Shed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

A new venue is opening its doors to men in Wymondham.

Pastor Barry Rooks, with the work in progress to set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. Picture: D

Pastor Barry Rooks, with the work in progress to set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

The Shed in Ayton Road is based on an Australian initiative and will offer men a space to carry out practical activities and socialise.

The project is being run by the Alive Church in Wymondham and Pastor Barry Rooks said the inspiration for the project came during a service.

He said: 'I was preaching, as I do, and I looked up and saw this lonely looking guy and I thought, where is there for this chap to go?

'We already had Butterflies, where women can get together and do crafts and support each other, but we had nothing for men. I heard about the shed in Norwich and went along and was really inspired.'

Pastor Barry Rooks, with the work in progress to set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. Picture: D

Pastor Barry Rooks, with the work in progress to set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018


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Mr Rooks found a disused building in the town and offered to renovate it free of charge. In return, the landlord paid for building materials and offered half price rent.

Mr Rooks said: 'It was a win-win really, because they wanted the work doing and we were looking for a project like this.

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'The building was in a dire state originally, with broken windows and holes in the walls. Now we've kitted out a lounge, a kitchen, a bathroom and a workshop. There's still a lot to be done, but the volunteers have done a great job and I'm hoping we'll have it done by Easter.'

Members who visit The Shed will be invited to help with renovation work, practise a craft or just enjoy a cup of tea and a chat.

Pastor Barry Rooks, with the work in progress to set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. Picture: D

Pastor Barry Rooks, with the work in progress to set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Mr Rooks said: 'It shouldn't feel like work here, but often men won't talk about things they're struggling with until they're stood side by side with someone doing a task.

'But there's a bigger purpose than just providing camaraderie, it's about learning new skills finding a sense of purpose and making a real difference.'

Going forwards, The Shed plans to convert the upstairs of the building into studios for painting, pottery and leather making. They also intend to install a media suite where members can record music and use computers - donations and sponsors will be gratefully received.

The Shed will be holding inductions on March 1 and 3 and members will meet on Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Pastor Barry Rooks, left, with some of the team in the finished workshop as they set up The Shed at

Pastor Barry Rooks, left, with some of the team in the finished workshop as they set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. From left, Simon Ward, Kevin Briggs, Bob Morrish, and Richard Binding. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

To register for the inductions or find out more, contact Mr Rooks on barry@alivechurch.org.uk, 07791 088761 or visit The Shed Wymondham Facebook page.

Pastor Barry Rooks, right, with some of the team in the finished workshop as they set up The Shed at

Pastor Barry Rooks, right, with some of the team in the finished workshop as they set up The Shed at The Arc at Wymondham. From left, Simon Ward, Kevin Briggs, Bob Morrish, and Richard Binding. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

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