Current Cost of Membership

1st February 2019 to January 31st 2020 the cost of Membership for Men In Sheds: Bedford:

For existing members: £2 per month on standing order.

For new members: £10 joining fee, and £2 per month on standing order.

(This has been set by the Trustees at their meeting on the March 2019)

In addition there is a small fee for tea and coffee.

Currently we are also asking for a pound per session for Computer Training and for the Trains section (to help cover software and hardware costs).

Also there is a considerable amount of wood available in the wood store, if this is used for personal projects, then there is a honesty box for a contributions.

Please put a smile on the Treasurer’s face and let’s keep the finance for the Shed in a healthy state.

Message from the trustees explaining changes to men in shed bedford subscriptions:

After a meeting of the Trustees on Friday 2nd February 2018, the Trustees have agreed that there will be a change to members’ financial contribution to Men In Sheds Bedford.

  • Everyone setups up a standing order for two pound per month.
  • This will cover the running costs of Men In Sheds (Bedford). It will also allow us to use Gift Aid.
  • For 2018 existing members, £1 renewal fee, and £2 per month (by standing order).
  • For 2018 new members, £10 joining fee, and £2 per month (by standing order).
  • The Trustees understand this is a major change, so please talk to the Trustees if you have any questions.

F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why the change?

Men In Sheds (Bedford) is now a charity and certain changes were necessary as a result. Specifically, the Trustees have an obligation to ensure that the Charity is run in a financially sound manner to the Charity Commission (and this is why they have set the subscription for this year).

Why have the Trustees changed to monthly standing orders instead of the one off payment per year currently being paid. 

After considerable debate (both in the Management Committee over the last year, and with the Trustees) it has been concluded that this is the best way forward as it keeps the cost per month low for members, it allows extra revenue from Gift Aid, and removes the problems of collecting one off cash payments every year.

Why have you increased the membership cost by so much?

The subscription has to cover the running costs (e.g. Building Insurance, Liability Insurance, Wear and Tear of tools and consumables). Two pound per month is really the lowest the Trustees could set members’ contribution while still covering the Charities’ outgoing costs.

I don’t like using my bank account to do things.

A standing order is totally under your control. You set it up with your Bank or Building Society. Men In Sheds will have no access to your account and cannot increase the amount, or frequency.

I am not prepared to set a standing order.

Please talk to the trustees on a confidential basis

What do other sheds charge?

An awful lot more. As just about every other club we all attend. For example, a bridge club charges two pound for every session as well as a membership fee.

What do I get for my monthly subscription?

Aside from the companionship, friendly chats, and the health benefits that come from talking to people and doing stuff; we have a workshop that is full of tools and machines, experts in many areas who are happy to teach their skills for free, projects for the Charity and the wider community, trips out, help with your personal projects, free technical support for phones, tablets, and computers, oh and free cake, cookies and biscuits. Also plans for more machines, internet, and anything you might like to suggest.

I cannot afford this.

We feel that this is not an unreasonable amount at 50p per week. Anyone with difficulty with this are more than welcome to discuss this in confidence with the Trustees.

Are you going to increase the costs in 2019?

One of the founding principals for the Trustees is to keep the cost as low as practically possible, while still covering our yearly running cost. We are not expecting to raise subscription in 2019 at this time.

I don’t use the tools very much, other members use them a lot more.

People who use the Shed more often are aware of this, and on the whole, they make a greater monthly contribution.

However the running costs are not just about the tools used. The lability is the most expensive part of our running costs. (e.g. if someone falls over coming in for a cup of tea and they are injured, then Men In Sheds are liable for any compensation that they claim.)

Can we get a grant?

Broadly speaking grants are only available for specific “things”, for example a new lathe.

Why can’t we get cheaper insurance?

We hope to get cheaper insurance, however, any money saved will be added to Men In Shed reserves.

I only  come for a “Tea and a Chat”, this is expensive.

Where else can you go to meet people, chat, have a cup of tea/coffee and only pay 50p? If you met up for a chat at Costa Coffee you would be paying £2.35 for a small coffee and you would not be allowed to stay there for three hours.

What about new joiners?

The Trustees hope that by spreading the cost of membership over the year, we will find it easier to expand our membership (the one off fee for new joiners of £25 appears to have been a barrier to some potential new members). For example: at least 10 people have come along to see us and not joined, (they have often expressed concerns about the Membership Fee).

Who elected the Trustees?

The first Trustees were nominated as part of the process of setting up the Charity. It is planned that new Trustees will be voted in September 2018 as part of the AGM.

Who are the Trustees who we can talk to about the changes face to face or email?

Steve Conway sc@steveconway.net

Andrew Hankiewicz ahankiewicz@ntlworld.com

George Harland gsharland9@aol.com

Jeremy Honner jeremy.honner@btinternet.com