Men invited to "shed" their inhibitions in south Shropshire

A new group set up to encourage men to talk has got off to a flying start in south Shropshire.

SOUTH COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 02/11/2021 - Craven Arms Men's Shed has been set up and based out of Halo Craven arms Community Centre. They will meet every Tuesday. It was set up by Cllr Nick Carter but he will not be running it..
SOUTH COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 02/11/2021 - Craven Arms Men's Shed has been set up and based out of Halo Craven arms Community Centre. They will meet every Tuesday. It was set up by Cllr Nick Carter but he will not be running it..

Some 25 men turned up for the first meeting of Craven Arms Men's Shed, giving it a surprisingly close to capacity start.

Men's Shed groups are already set up in many towns, and the thriving one in Ludlow gave local councillor Nick Carter and his wife Beth the inspiration to get one going in their town.

"We discussed it some years ago that Craven Arms is one of those places where nothing ever happens," said Nick, a retired Royal Navy lieutenant commander with 34 years of service. "We were listening to an item about Ludlow Men's Shed on local radio and thought - that's it."

After making contact with the team down the road, they spent time and money registering the Craven Arms branch and in organising the launch event on Tuesday (November 2) in the Pavilion Room at Craven Arms Community Centre.

"There are 30 people using Ludlow's Men's Shed and we have started off with 25 so it is a great and if it carries on at that level we will be close to capacity and looking for a bigger room!" he said.

Councillor Carter has made it clear to the group that he will help keep its once-a-week meetings going for two months but after then members will have to find £12 a year to join and pay £1 per visit.

"I will help share the load," said Councillor Carter. "But I have made it clear that it is their shed and if they don't use it they will lose it."

He is looking for members to run their club and was encouraged by the response this week.

There are some 590 Men's Sheds across the country providing community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together. They help reduce loneliness and isolation.

"We men are not like the women," said Councillor Carter who also trained as a counsellor. "We don't talk to one another but men's sheds encourage men to have conversations.

"We used to be able to go to the pub to do that."

He hopes that it will be a place where men can go to fix things - and plans to take his guitar to the next weekly gathering for re-stringing.

Gatherings will take place every Tuesday from 10am to 3pm at the community centre, in Newington Way, after HALO Leisure made the room available

For more information about the national Men's Sheds organisation visit https://menssheds.org.uk/

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