Mens Shed Whitley Workshop Latest News and Updates. WEW

Mens Shed Whitley Workshop Latest NEWS and Updates. WEW

Mens shed - Whitley Enterprise Workshop - image
Whitley Mens Shed for a Great Whitley Enterprise Workshop. For Ladies and Enterprising Youngsters too, ALL ages.  Photo: David Turner

Mens Shed and Ladies GREAT SUCCESS!

Mens Shed at New Directions  –  !Website in construction!

Mens shed - WEW General - image


Mens Shed - Sarah enjoying herself - image
Sarah enjoying it. 

Held today, the room was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm. Spread the word to make it evolve into a GREAT Men’s Shed in Whitley!

Contact Richard. “Get in touch”  using our in-line webform 

“come to chat;  come and have a cup of tea;  come to drink coffee;  come to brainstorm! and have a good time”

As you can see – Ladies VERY welcome.

"It doesn't work"
It doesn’t work”

Come along and join them.  Once a month and…


It didn’t work but it does now!


Hmmm… here is a quote from an article written by Lucy Mangan  of the Guardian – may cause debate!  Why women may need sheds more than men!

…”Apparently, pottering around doing odd jobs is therapeutic. There’s a sense of achievement that men get from starting a task and seeing it through to completion. It’s good for self-esteem. Unlike women, of course, who thrive on going at things half-arsedly and looking around with satisfaction at the end of a day at all the things they didn’t manage to finish…”  Read more in the Guardian article

mens shed - a good day at the office - image
A good first day at the office! enlarge +  Photo: David Turner.

Give WEW a Clue!

Give us an idea of future ways to go by clicking on our anonymous in-line questionnaire – great stuff.

Whitley Enterprise Workshop Mens Ladies Shed Lead Up

Whitley Workshop - WEW - lead up - image
Original photo: David Turner

Whitley Workshop and Enterprise Workshop Lead Up

Recent first

Whitley Workshop …Mens Shed…Ladies…Youngsters!


Local residents in Whitley are working with the Men’s Shed to start up a smaller satellite group in Whitley. The sessions will run at New Directions, from 2pm-4pm on the first Friday of every month, launching on Friday 1st July. The sessions are open to everyone (including women and enterprising youngsters!). People can bring along small items that need repairing or just drop in to socialise and find out more about the workshop. Best of all it’s totally FREE!!


It’s beginning to happen! A workshop for ANYONE to attend – both sexes! Any age! Please see the official poster which is now being circulated. You may find this BBC Healthy Link of Interest.  Gardening is better than medication!

Why not give a clue to your interests by going to the anonymous poll pages.

If not – no worries, come along and tell us! you can be set up and taught with whatever . Just gives WEW a CLUE… that’s all! (for any future planning.) You can read about enterprising Richard on the other posts. 

Whitley Workshop idea of Richard WORKS! thanks to the BBC showing this documentary…A taster from the BBC about such a workshop going overboard in success.

– Watch here

But…he didn’t need to prove it – he just knew. Thanks to this broadcast he has now been offered initial workspace. Watch this space!

Talking of one Friday every month to start? Could be more though!


Latest News At Whitley Community Centre Cafe 252 Northumberland Avenue.

A taster REPAIR CAFE was hosted between 09.30 – 12.30pm on Saturday morning 20th February2016 Previously at Jackson’s Corner Reading.

Good to see so many pop in and bring their possessions to be be fixed. They brought along anything that doesn’t work! but drew the line at the old man and the kids. (They knew it couldn’t be promised to fix them! but you never knew!) Tea, coffee and cakes available from the cafe were served. They just popped in and it was a very good atmosphere


Mens Shed free Whitley Enterprise Workshop Group (WEW)

A FREE Mens Shed (Workshop) facility to help and enable any Whitley Resident

workshop equipment - image
Original photo: David Turner

Have a look here!

♦Let those talents shine

♦ Making, adapting, repairing or creating anything!

♦ Dig around and find out what you can achieve

♦ No strings attached

♦No qualifications needed!

♦Everything you want, to add challenging ideas into the daily, weekly, monthly round

♦MAGIC tools and MAGIC equipment WILL BE MYSTERIOUSLY within your reach

♦ Drills, saws, lathes, laser cutters, 3D printers, you name them.

♦Whether a spring chic or hold a Degree in the University of Life,  if this sounds an astounding opportunity too good to miss, or to share with someone

Your tasks!

Get in touch! using our in- line contact form 

Please have a look at our in-line wish list and participate to help keep the new Whitley Mens Shed great.



Whitley Enterprise Workshop – design it! make it! repair it!

Whitley Enterprise Workshop – design it! make it! repair it!

Whitley Enterprise workshop - Richard and workbench - image

Whitley enterprise workshop would benefit from years of Richard’s equiping workshops.

To design, make,  fix  and  repair.  This will be an OPEN workshop

Whitley Enterprise Workshop is the idea of Richard Jessel – Inventor.  He has an inventive mind and has learned and implemented new skills.   A little rhyming snippet of experience!

  • Richard feels everyone should have a facility at the ready and learn to do…well…anything!

He would like the opportunity to start such a workshop for the people of Whitley, and now that 1,000,000 of Lottery money has been allocated, he’d like to see some of this apportioned towards starting a Whitley Enterprise Workshop.

Whitley Residents for those inclined, would benefit by renewing their skills and imparting  knowledge to others of all ages,  especially the unemployed to bring about confidence,  competence,  fulfilment,  and the possibility of setting up and starting their own business’s.

Whitley Enterprise Workshop - Community Centre Cafe Enlarge + - image
Community Centre Cafe-Northumberland Avenue-Whitley agj

What do you say?

Pop into the Whitley Cafe,  have a coffee and whilst biting on a delicious slice of cake,  discuss and share your thoughts at a future enterprise workshop meeting.  Watch this space!

You can contact Richard by using our in-line contact form for any queries.  “Get in touch.”

Reading Midweek Wednesday April 29th 2015

“Whitley residents have a rare chance to help decide what skills will be made available to local people in a project aimed at helping to improve prospects for those seeking work.

Whitley Community Development Association is drawing up plans for a collaborative workshop space where skilled people who can spare some time to pass on practical knowledge to others, such as the unemployed or under-employed.  The scheme is supported by Reading Borough Council,  JobCentre Plus and the Heritage Lottery-Funded Whitley  1 Million.

But to find out what skills are required organisers are putting on a people for people in the area to brainstorm ideas.  They will then cost the various options. Ed’s note: this has now taken place.

John Ord  of the Whitley Trust said…

“There is clearly a wealth of ability in the area and this project gives us the chance,  not just to utilise people’s talents but also to to give an opportunity to those who have skills they would be willing to pass on, the satisfaction of helping others.

” It may be that we can get companies to help but I’m sure there are skilled who are possibly retired who still have a lot to offer.

“The first thing we need to do is find out what skills people in Whitley want to learn so if if people are seeking work or want to improve their prospects,  I would urge them to come along and tell us what they want to learn. ” Ed’s note:  this has now taken place

” We can then investigate what we can provide.  It’s important we base this on the people this is about.”

Also working on the scheme is Richard Jessel who previously helped Kings Meadow Baths Campaign during which he also attempted with others,  a similar kind of learning base to restore the Baths.  He now hopes to see a fuller scheme work within Whitley.”

Ed’s note:  The event was held on Wednesday April 29th from 12.30 to 2pm at the Whitley Cafe/Bar in the South Reading Community Centre, 252 – 260 Northumberland Avenue.



Working Together Creating the Whitley Enterprise Workshop


Working together to Design it!  Fix it! Make it!

Working together - Tools Galore - image
Working together


Working together with these people will help the project along.

 Mr John Ord – John is employed by a Lottery Fund agency to help the Whitley Big Local spend the million. He is here to assist not decide. In the main he will be a tool that we use to make sure we are getting value for money and social worth from our Million.  Working together is the motto.

Mr Alan Bunce      –  Freelance Writer and Editor for the local Newspapers

Mr Bhodi Sunth     –   Wingmen Associates – Financial Advisor

Mr Richard Jessel – During the last 7 years has been self employed designing and inventing – although throughout his life between employed status (mainly in the design fields) has been collecting a few Patents and seeing what they can do for him!  He is presently working on eco innovation and new concepts in letter box and cat flap design that keep out the draughts.

Associated Persons

Mr John Walford – Has  background in engineering,  having worked for  the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston for a considerable period.  He is very keen that the people of Whitley should be working together towards a common goal.

Hemant Mehta – Retailer and much expertise in IT

 From the NEW  “Whitley Way” Newspaper… Working together

John Ord of the Whitley Big Local said:

“…This project is reaching very exciting stage now and it is essential that we find out the type of skills people want before we proceed.”

Lots of ideas and suggestions have been collected so far,  working together on how the workshop might be organised.  What’s in it,  who does it, how it might be supported and  funded,  what people could do,  where it might be located and what residents might get out of it.


Cafe – Community Centre – Northumberland Avenue-Whitley 

Working together and enjoy a CUPPA - imageRight at the heart the workshop a cafe is planned offering good food at affordable prices and this will be a place to sit together, plan and swap ideas and get to know others who can help each other.  Not only working together but a good base to brainstorm together. There will be a clear aim to create some form of social enterprise where residents themselves can run businesses that benefit the community and give them a useful job.

John added:  “We are actively looking for a place to locate this workshop.  Imagine a big space with different sections around the cafe offering a wide range of tool and equipment such as laser cutters,  lathes, drills, computers,  bench tools for wood and metal work,  shoe lasts, 3D printers,  engine and bike repair, sewing machines and basic electronics.  Come when you want at any time of the day or week – this is our aim.

“This workshop will be built around a team of local people working together and others,  with bags of different craft and engineering and technology skills: business could be run from here and it’s all about co-operation – a non-profit maker space where you can get and share the skills needed to set up your own business and create jobs locally. ”

That’s the main mission –

Working together to provide local jobs to support the Whitley economy

Richard Jessel is only too happy to provide various working equipment and tools necessary for work benches



Workshop Progress of the Whitley Enterprise project

workshop progress - tools - image

Workshop progress will be written as it happens

Workshop progress  ♦ 14/01/15   John Ord meeting with a Jobcentre Plus Representative and a Representative from the Local Economic Development Dept of Borough Council at New Directions, Northumberland Avenue. Wednesday 14th January 15.  Richard Jessel was also in attendance.  Consequent meetings have taken place.

29/04/15 Open Meeting for the General Public to discuss ideas took place at the Community Centre

♦ 16/06/15  Meeting held in June.  Possible workspaces discussed.

♦ 01/07/16  First meeting of the Whitley Mens Shed / Workshop at New Directions

Inventor High’s and Low’s…in Rhyme! Persevere all the Time

Inventor of the Wheel meets Inventor of the Deal
When the Inventor of the Wheel meets the Inventor of the Deal

 Long hard journey

  For Inventors!

“It’s good, it’s brilliant and where did you get the idea?
When it’s available to buy there’ll be orders from us – NO fear.”
Off to the superstores and warehouses with prototype to show,
“How great! wow…what a awesome invention!  when they’re around please let us know.”

How often my partner and I have heard all this before,
We know it’s good,  the market’s there,  and is needed more and more.
But the work and the effort over a decade – we thought was almost in vain,
To get it produced was disappointing and let down again and again.

The phone and the fax ringing all day, potential customers enquired
About the Invention, they’ve heard on the grapevine –  how CAN it be acquired?
Via media, overseas and home, with lists of clients long…
“Are they manufactured yet?” was the persistent song.

There have been many downfalls,  highs and lows,
Once passed the bouncers many companies say “How clever!” – but NOTHING – that’s the way it goes.
Spending on Patents, expending much energy and stress,
No-one gives a definate NO,  but then no-one says a definate YES.

Miles and miles of travel,  securing appointments one after the other ,
Moral is boosted to exhileration,  only to find in time they just don’t bother.
As soon as you’re out of the door there is proof it’s all forgotten,
But to us and our passion it’s real, and it all seems so rotten.

Manufacturers shelve ideas… best for them that would be the best!
But how can they possibly know this without putting concepts to the test?
Those that were successful we turned to for advice,
The response being “Sorry I can’t help you, but the product is “very naice.”

Despite the knock downs, an Innovator and his Partner must show plenty of faith – it’s TOUGH,
There comes many a time when one feels you’ve simply had enough.
It’s a lonely expensive business just the two of you,
And despite, commitment and endeavour there’s only so much you can do.

You begin to wonder despite the “hearing’s” whether it may not be as good as you think,
If companies were not prepared to help,  there must be a chink?
Fuelled with more determination you hang on in there and continue persevering,
Despite many sacrifices,  midnight oil burning, days become nights, you persist in believing.

Prospective clients keep hammering the point “the product will sell”,
It’s disturbing and humiliating,  you know this fact oh! so well.
With no-one to make commitments,  sign on the dotted line, you suffer duress,
All that Innovation?…  just lying around…useless.

But SUDDENLY your day arrives,  you have a deal!
What were everlasting speculations and fantasies now become very real.
Now EVERYONE wants a slice of the action,  as they come bounding over to you,
There’s interest,  motivation, there’s action,  they’ll do anything for you.

Sell outs,  Industrial Awards, National Press, having to keep check on the stock,
National and International the  dreams of your life just running amock
Why oh why does it have to be all this way,
The years of struggling, and the belief, until you reach this day.

One thing’s for certain, past reticent ones could come chasing – the tables being turned,
Recalling the days we needed THEM – and we were spurned,
This particular Inventor would like to help budding Inventors, recalling those days
Advising and mentoring,  and helping them to better ways

Believe in YOURSELF is the order of the day,
Trust your focus, it doesn’t matter what others say.
Keep striving and driving through obstacles that could block your way,
Whether the suns shining or not, ” JUST MAKE THAT HAY”…………… will be deserved.

First written 2009 Anne Green Jessel
To be found on