Friday, February 18, 2022

The Fairford & Lechlade organisation, Working 4 Wellbeing is thrilled to announce the setting up of a Men’s Shed group! Due to open in April, the Fairford and District Men’s Shed will be a community space for members to meet up, pursue practical interests and hobbies or just chat over a cup of coffee in a fun group to help reduce loneliness and isolation.

Malcolm Cutler, who has spearheaded the setting up of the Fairford Men’s Shed group said: “The essence of a shed is not the building, but the connection and camaraderie between its members.”

The building in Fairford designated to be the Men’s Shed meeting place is the former Old Carpenters’ Workshop next to the Dovecote in Park Street, which has been leased to the Men’s Shed group by the Ernest Cook Trust.

“There has been a lot of interest and support for the new Men’s Shed group,” said Malcolm. “And I would like to thank the Ernest Cook Trust for their support and offering us this wonderful historic space.

Originally a barn/hayloft, the Dovecote workshop has been used over the years as a carpenters’ shop, studio and, more recently, a dumping ground and storage area for different organisations. It has taken a lot of hard work to clear the space and Malcolm said he was indebted to everyone that has offered up their time to do this very dirty work!

Activities in Sheds can vary greatly, but it is planned to provide facilities for woodworking, metalworking and for members to undertake their own hobbies and restore or repair their own items. The group is predominantly about sharing skills and knowledge mixed with a lot of fun and laughter. In the future, it is also planned to hold workshops on areas of interest to members and which could include subjects such as photography, computing and even making YouTube videos.

Men’s Sheds typically attract older men, but many other Men’s Shed groups have younger members and women too.

Research has shown the negative impact that loneliness and isolation can have on a person’s health and wellbeing. Typically, it is men rather than women who find it more difficult to build social connections. When retirement comes, it can feel like men’s personal identity and purpose is lost. Men’s Sheds can try to change all of that.

“We are planning to hold the Men’s Shed sessions on a Wednesday morning starting in April and hopefully expand to three mornings per week,” explained Malcolm. “We already have water and electricity laid on, so we are now at least able to make a cup of tea or coffee!

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