Men’s Shed finds a home in Ottery

Claire Wright, Helen Harms, Glynn Dobson and Ian Holmes by the new portacabins at The Station. Ref s

Claire Wright, Helen Harms, Glynn Dobson and Ian Holmes by the new portacabins at The Station. Ref sho 02-16 AW 7414. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A pioneering new project that will reach out to isolated members of the community has taken a step closer to becoming a reality.

Ottery Help Scheme and the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) are working in conjunction with a national organisation to launch a Men’s Shed, which will enable residents to enjoy hobbies and pursuits within a communal space.

A break-through in securing a suitable ‘shed’ came last week when a disused cabin was successfully moved from outside the St Saviours building, to the car park of The Station, where the help scheme is based.

Ottery Town Council funded the major operation to get the unit crane-lifted and county councillor Claire Wright contributed £500 from her locality budget.

The help scheme’s chief officer Helen Harms said: “This is such an exciting project and will give men and women in Ottery a great communal space in which to channel their creativity, learn new skills and meet other like-minded individuals.

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“We are now looking for people to come forward who would like to become members of Ottery Men’s Shed Committee - working together to come up with creative projects and taking the lead on how the shed might develop in the future.”

She said The Station is an ideal, central location for the Men’s Shed, with the additional benefit of providing parking for those who have to drive.

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Mayor Glyn Dobson said: “The facility is going to be excellent and I hope people will take advantage of that and sign up to get it started.”

Councillor Wright said: “I am really pleased to see the development of the Men’s Sheds programme, which is really popular elsewhere in the country. The programme is designed specifically to support the way men interact with each other and make friends.”

Men’s Sheds UK is a nationwide, not-for-profit organisation that offers members the chance to share tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing, within a safe, friendly and inclusive environment. The initiative aims to address problems of isolation – particularly among men – who are less likely to join community social groups, or talk about their feelings but can benefit from mutual company and shared hobbies.

Anyone who would like to know more can call the help scheme on 01404 813041.

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