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Men’s Shed launched to tackle male loneliness in Wells

PUBLISHED: 18:30 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 22:47 30 November 2018

Wells Community Hospital general manager, Samantha Taylor, shows Men's Shed members the building which will become their new shed. Photo: Peter Bird

Wells Community Hospital general manager, Samantha Taylor, shows Men's Shed members the building which will become their new shed. Photo: Peter Bird

Archant

A new project to tackle loneliness and isolation has been launched for men in north Norfolk.

A Men’s Shed has been set up at Wells-next-the-Sea community hospital, to offer men living alone or caring for a partner the chance to get out of the house and form friendships.

The first of this new type of Men’s Shed was opened in 1998 in Australia to bring together groups of men who would otherwise be living isolated and lonely lives.

The idea was copied by countries including the United Kingdom, where more than two million men, aged 16-64, currently live alone.

The Wells shed has around twenty members who are in the process of forming a committee and writing a constitution, helped by Stephen Hurley, a community development worker at Norfolk’s Adult Social Services.

Mr Hurley said: “Men’s Sheds is a fantastic project which has taken off nationwide and is popping up everywhere.

“My role is to develop these community groups.”

He added: “It’s an opportunity for them to have a cup of tea, make friends and support each other.

“It’s an chance to get out of the house and I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm of this new group.”

Wells Hospital general manager Samantha Taylor described the hospital as the hub of the project and said £900 would need to be raised by the committee to develop the unused building provided for the Shed.

The group will buy metal working and wood working tools and give members the opportunity to work on projects together.

The project is intended for men caring for loved ones who can’t easily get out of the house; widowers with no supportive family network; and those with mental health issues.

Mark Howes said he was his wife’s carer and the new shed would enable him to get out and meet new people and socialise.

Terry Kane said he had no garden or workshop which he found frustrating, and that as his wife’s carer he felt very isolated.

In Norfolk there are ten Men’s Sheds, not including Wells, either running or being formed.

These include King’s Lynn, Downham Market, Brandon and Fakenham and there are more than 600 Men’s Sheds nationwide.

More information about the Wells Men’s Shed can be found at www.wellsnexttheseamensshed.weebly.com

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