Men’s Sheds Cymru Association – Care to Co-operate 2017
Care to Co-operate has helped develop a new national co-operative, Men’s Sheds Cymru Association. Its members are local Men’s Sheds based in different communities across Wales helping people with their well-being.
Men’s Sheds Cymru Association wants to offer more services to the 46 local Men’s Sheds located across Wales, all active in improving men’s health, well-being and tackling social isolation. As a co-operative, it will be owned and run by individual members, drawn from different Men’s Sheds and appointed to the Board of Directors. They will directly inform its future services making them responsive and tailored to the national and local ‘Shed’ communities.
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act
As a national co-operative, Men’s Sheds Cymru Association is able to support the operation and growth of its local Men’s Sheds members. It will meet with service commissioners as the national co-operative to discuss early intervention and preventative well-being services, in line with the Social Services and Well-being Act. Discussion will focus on service to be delivered through individual Sheds. It will provide organisational assistance to include health and safety advice and guidance and use its national buying power to secure public liability insurances and equipment for its members.
Role of Care to Co-operate
Men’s Sheds Cymru Association has emerged from a grant funded start-up service. In order to establish as a national organisation and to grow the services it offers, the team needed to incorporate the service as a formal entity. This allows it to apply for further grants and generate its own income.
Care to Co-operate used its legal structure tool to assess the type of organisation it should be. The founder members said it wanted to be independent, led by its members, use a democratic system to make decisions, secure income from different sources and reinvest profits back into the organisation for the future prosperity of all Welsh Sheds.
Their list of characteristics best fitted with a charitable co-operative, an organisation that works co-operatively with a clear commitment to the community it serves and led by members on a ‘one member, one vote’ basis.
“The structure provides an excellent platform for the voice and control of Men’s Sheds members who will be the driving force within the association. The support of Care to Co-operate has been invaluable in its development. We look forward to continuing our work to further develop our member engagement and the growth of Men’s Sheds Cymru Association."