Men in Bulwell who feel lonely or isolated are being invited to nip down to the shed to find solace and support.
Not the garden shed but the Men’s Shed, which is part of a national scheme aimed at improving the social life of older, retired men.
“Often, when men finish their working careers, they don’t particularly have a focus and start to feel a bit lonely,” said Steve Lack, organiser of the new Men’s Shed in Bulwell.
“They lose impetus and might lack confidence or have low-level mental-health issues.
“I’m pretty confident this will be a real boost to Bulwell. We don’t expect it to attract millions of men, but the need is there
“The men of Bulwell, and the rest of the Nottingham North area, are being given an opportunity to look forward to.”
The Men’s Shed will launch at Bulwell Forest Community Garden, off Austin Street, next Monday (November 25) from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm and meet every Monday afternoon from then on.
The aim is to encourage men to get out of the house and join others to take part in woodworking and metalworking or making and mending things, with the help of organisers. A range of tools will be made available.
There will also be the chance to indulge in a bit of gardening or simply to enjoy a chat over a cup of tea and biscuts.
“We hope it will give men the chance to build social networks,” said Lack, who is a community health officer with the charity, the Rebalancing Outer Estates Foundation, based in north Nottingham.
“When we did some research on social provision in Bulwell, we found that a lot of groups were mainly frequented by women.
“But many men were feeling isolated, so we had a look round and did some digging to see what we could set up.
“We have already had quite a few calls from people interested in finding out what the Men’s Shed is all about.”
The Bulwell Men’s Shed, which is supported by local councillors, will be the first of its kind in the Nottingham area. But they are springing up at a rate of ten per month across the country, and almost 500 now exist.
A spokesman for the Men’s Sheds Association said: “They are similar to garden sheds -- a place to pursue practical interests at leisure. But the difference is they’re also about social connections and friendship building.
“Older men have fewer networks of friends than women, and rarely share their concerns about health and personal worries.
“When retirement comes, it can feel like their identity and purpose are lost. Men’s Sheds can change all that.”