Men in Sheds sending out SOS for a new home

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A project for older men to develop practical skills and make new friends could be in danger of closing if a new venue is not found.

The Blidworth Men in Sheds workshop offers retired men an outlet for their creativity and a sense of purposefulness that a workplace once gave them.

For the past six years Men in Sheds has been a hive of activity for older men to do craftwork, share their knowledge and generally put the world to rights over a cup of tea.

Now Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire are asking the local community to come forward with any suggestions, ideas, or information on a new venue.

Men in Sheds is a fantastic project which brings men aged 60 and over together to build friendships and reduce loneliness, whilst sharing and learning woodwork skills in a workshop in Blidworth.

Running for more than six years the project has grown substantially, having more than 150 men attend so far, and the hope is this success will continue far into the future.

However, due to a possible rent increase the ‘shed’ that Age UK Notts rent may not be suitable for Men in Sheds after March this year.

They are therefore taking the opportunity to look for a new home to secure the future of the project which makes a huge difference to the lives of local older men and their families.

Rick White who has volunteered with the project since its early days said: “many men join after losing wives and the companionship and support is invaluable to help them cope. There is a place for everyone no matter their background or skill in woodwork”.

Age UK Notts are not ruling out any options to consider at the moment and are calling on the local community to come forward with any suggestions, ideas, or information.

Disused buildings could be converted into a workshop or space could be shared with others if appropriate.

There are other ‘shed’ projects around the country using churches, schools, community centres, warehouses, storage units, and other weird and wonderful venues.

The area does need to be accessible to those in wheelchairs, and being on a public transport route would also be beneficial.

Although happy staying in the Blidworth community an accessible, safe venue is more important and as such the search is covering the surrounding areas including Mansfield.

Service Manager, Carol Wilby, says “Thanks to the staff, volunteers and members at our Blidworth shed we have come so far in six years and we really don’t want to stop growing.

Men in Sheds is such a fantastic project which offers local men laughter, support, and a sense of purpose with like-minded friends in what can often be a difficult time if bereaved, retired, or suffering ill health.

“We’re calling on the local community to help this continue.”

If you are aware of any properties that could rehouse Men in Sheds please contact Carol Wilby on 0115 844 0011 or email carol.wilby@ageuknotts.org.uk

If you would like any further information on Men in Sheds Blidworth please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/notts/our-services/men-in-sheds/ or call 01623 797750.