Charity group's new quest to provide a Men's Shed for Ludlow

Building upon its success in supporting the community throughout the coronavirus pandemic, a voluntary group has announced plans to develop a ‘Men’s Shed’ in a Shropshire town.

Men' Shed's host activities like woodwork, DIY and general making – but in social groups. There are now 600 Men’s Sheds in the UK including several in Shropshire.

Hands Together Ludlow, which tirelessly supported people who were shielding, isolated or vulnerable during the coronavirus lockdown, is now helping to set up a Men's Shed in Ludlow.

Hands Together chair Sue Chantler said: "The importance of ‘social prescribing’ – the use of non- clinical community services – is now well recognised and it is clear that Men’s Sheds bring health benefits, improved wellbeing and social integration as well as being great fun.

"This sits well with the vision of Hands Together Ludlow and as a registered charity, with a support infrastructure in place, it means that we don’t have to create a new organisation and we can quickly focus on identifying a potential site or premises

" The development could take a year or more so, hopefully, Covid may be behind us by then."

Peter Blackburn, chair of Cleobury Mortimer Men’s Shed, welcomed Ludlow’s development: “It’s fabulous that more Men’s Sheds are developing in Shropshire and I’m sure that Ludlow and Cleobury Mortimer can support each other and share any learning experiences.

"We are near to opening our shed having acquired a site and built premises over the past three years, and we are happy to help Ludlow in any way we can”.

Social connections

Ludlow Men’s Shed co-ordinator, David Burton, said: “Men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, and unlike women of a similar age, less older men have networks of friends and rarely share personal concerns about health and personal worries.

"While men of all ages are welcome, for some men when retirement comes it can feel like personal identity and purpose is lost. Sheds are whatever the members (known as 'Shedders') want them to be.

"They can be empty offices, portable cabins, warehouses or garages. Many sheds get involved in community projects – restoring and repairing items and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need.

"At this stage we are not looking for shed members but we do need a small number of individuals to drive the project forward – to spread the message and to help with identifying funding and premises et cetera.

"If somebody feels that they have the skills to assist they can contact us by emailing sheds@handstogetherludlow.org.uk, or telephone the Hands Together Ludlow helpline number 01584 817250."

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