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Supporting Men’s Wellbeing and the Men’s Sheds

Wotton Men’s Shed opened its doors to Green Party District Councillors Jim Dewey and Catherine Braun, last week, to explain about the benefits to health and wellbeing that come with being a member of the ‘shed’.

Green Cllr Jim Dewey, who was recently appointed as one of three Mental Health Champions for the District Council, is keen to explore new ways to support local groups such as the Men’s Shed, which allow people to connect and converse – which has been demonstrated to provide a huge and positive impact on people’s mental and physical health.

The growth of Men’s Sheds in the UK has been dramatic – from just 30 in 2013 to 400 this year, with on average six to nine new Men’s Sheds starting up every month, reflecting a huge demand. Membership of a Men’s Shed is linked to a 40 % reduction in recorded visits to the doctor, thanks to the active lifestyle and interaction with others which the Men’s Sheds encourages.

The sheds are community workspaces where members can do practical projects of their own choosing and at their own pace – either in a group, on their own or for the community. Recent projects at the Wotton Shed include transforming wooden pallets into new garden baskets – with a view to selling the finished items. Men learn from each other and many say they get a great sense of achievement and purpose from meeting up and taking part in the activities.

Jim said “It was great for me and Catherine to meet Robert and Tom to see the inspiring work they are doing with the Men’s Shed in Wotton. Helping to overcome men’s loneliness might prevent or even treat depression. This could be a valuable tool for the medical profession and one we should support and encourage in Stroud District.”

The Mens’ Shed is also active in the wider community and is always looking for donations of DIY and carpentry tools and equipment – for use by the Wotton Men’s Shed or reuse by the WorkAid charity in Africa, which they support. Longer term the Men’s Shed is looking to expand and find new premises to be able to welcome more members.

Robert said “We’re very keen to welcome new members to the Men’s Shed. It’s open to men – and also women who are interested in wood work! Residents can find the Men’s Shed in Wotton at the Chic Treasures Shop, opposite The Falcon on Church Street. New members are welcome to drop in on during Wednesday morning sessions from 10 am – midday.”

For more information about the group, please contact Robert Jones, tel: 07980 784486

Cllr Jim Dewey tries out the tools in the Men’s Shed with help from founder members Robert Jones and Tom Chatting.

Cllr Jim Dewey tries out the tools in the Men’s Shed with help from founder members Robert Jones and Tom Chatting.