Maxilla Men’s Shed: a community workshop for North Kensington

Published on: Wednesday 17 July 2019

ACAVA is delighted to announce a new ambitious project launching in the second half of 2019. Maxilla Men’s Shed will connect communities in North Kensington with the international ‘Men’s Shed’ movement, creating a place where local adults, primarily men, can come to learn, teach, make, share and socialise. Working with Kensington and Chelsea Social Council, the project has been made possible by funding from NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Public Health, and the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation.

Cllr Sarah Addenbrooke, Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, RBKC, said: “We are pleased to be able to be support the body of work for Men's Sheds here in Kensington and Chelsea. The Shed will supply a range of activities and provide a safe communal space for men to engage and build friendships with other members. The profound effect of loneliness and isolation has devastating effects on men’s health and remains a public health issue. The Council is committed to reducing loneliness and encouraging and supporting social interaction”.

Maxilla Men’s Shed will provide a number of ways for local people to access a new, fully equipped wood workshop at ACAVA’s Maxilla Studios, located in the former Maxilla Children’s Centre. A series of open days will be held during August (further details coming soon), and a full programme of training and open access sessions (including opportunities for local women) will be launched in September. A dedicated Shed Programme Manager will support the community of users to grow and develop, working towards handing over the ownership and management of Maxilla Men’s Shed to the community in 2021. To support this we are also seeking to recruit local people to join a Steering Group, if you are interested please get in touch (contact details at the end of the document).

Dr Oisin Brannick, Clinical Lead Self Care and North Kensington, NHS WLCCG, said: "we know initiatives such as this bring people together to learn new skills and as a result improve people's health and wellbeing, we're delighted to fund this and work with ACAVA, to make this project happen".

ACAVA has been based in North Kensington (Blechynden St, W10) for the past twenty years. After the closure of Maxilla Children’s Centre, ACAVA took the building on with a short-term lease (now extended until 2022) from Westway Trust. Today, the building provides studios and exhibition space for 20 professional visual artists and during school holidays it is home to ACAVA’s flagship family learning arts programme, Flourish. Maxilla Men’s Shed will be a wonderful addition to Maxilla Studios’ existing creative community, and will open the building up even further for local people.

We are recruiting for the role of Programme Manager (Maxilla Men’s Shed), full details can be found here:

To keep up to date with project development sign up to ACAVA’s North Kensington mailing list here:

Notes to editors

About ACAVA ACAVA is a dynamic arts organisation and educational charity founded almost fifty years ago. We manage a large portfolio of 26 buildings, providing studios for almost 600 artists, mostly in London, but also in Essex and Stoke-on-Trent. ACAVA offers studios, facilities, professional development opportunities, commissions, exhibitions, open studios and a public programme of socially engaged community arts local to our studios.

ACAVA has been a pioneer of socially engaged and participatory arts programmes since its inception, and has operated from purpose-built accessible studios, offices and community art space in North Kensington for over twenty years. During this time, we have built enduring relationships working with local people, community groups, third sector and voluntary organisations to provide artistic opportunities. This work includes: Flourish, for families; Art for Wellbeing and, in partnership with Al-Manaar, the Grenfell Memorial Mosaic.

For further information, images and interviews please contact our Senior Programme Manager, Isabella Niven, by email:

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