The global Men’s Sheds movement began in Australia in the 90s to help men struggling to cope following a significant change in their life.
It recognised the huge health and wellbeing benefits of men joining forces to tackle practical tasks. The sheds offered a place where men could be active or meet socially if they felt disengaged from their community or isolated because of lifestyle changes in later life.
Poole’s Shed started in 2014 when half a dozen founder members thought having a workshop would be great fun. They originally met in premises provided by Poole’s Marine Voluntary Services at the docks.
“We wanted to tackle the social isolation of men who might have retired or faced bereavement or serious illness. We found keeping them active, learning new skills and helping one another made a big difference to their lives,” said chairman Ian Price.
“I’m proud we’ve forged a friendly, supportive group of nearly 50 people and we’re helping others. One member had nursed his mother and his wife and admitted he was falling apart. Joining us was life-changing for him.”
Alan Hawkins, club secretary said navigating the bureaucracy of becoming a charity was a simple task thanks to CAN’s advice and that training sessions for trustees were invaluable.
“CAN really help us by connecting us with people who need our help but would never think of getting in touch. We keep our advertising low key because we want to grow successfully at a gentle rate.”
The group has helped a wide range of organisations, including Montacute Special School, making a sleigh for Poole Christmas parade and carrying out repairs to the outdoor play area. It also made boxes for Poole Harbour’s birds and refurbishing the Fairy Glen at Upton Country Park.
They meet on Wednesday between 10 am – 2 pm at the Limelights Centre in Learoyd Road and are looking forward to increasing practical sessions in their new workshop they’ve built and fitted out, thanks to a grant from BCP Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy.
For more visit: poolemensshed.weebly.com or call Alan on 07985 957235.