Shed-loads of community engagement among Welwyn Garden City men

PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 December 2018

Welwyn Garden City men with the ramp Shed club built for The Hatfield Community Hub. Picture: Shed Club

Welwyn Garden City men with the ramp Shed club built for The Hatfield Community Hub. Picture: Shed Club

Archant

With the rising rate of suicide among men in the UK, the new Welwyn Garden City Men's Shed club is hoping to help improve the health of men.

The options for a central location for the club are being explored with the aim to reach as many men as possible.

Welwyn Garden City Men’s Shed is based on The NHS 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing and is part of a wider community. .

The steps relate to five key areas; Connection with others, being active, on-going learning opportunities, giving to others and being mindful.

As the saying goes, a problem shed is a problem halved.

In fact, evidence shows that men are more likely to open up to each other if they are busy focusing on an activity.

Men’s shed will help its members, called ‘Shedders’, to stay both physically and mentally active.

Men’s shed will be a connection point for men. It will encourage inter-generational learning and volunteering through the passing on of DIY, carpentry and engineering skills.

The club plans to make benches, signposts and steps for a new celebratory walk for 2020.

Organiser, Peter Lowe said: “We cannot wait to get involved in the Welwyn Garden Centenary Celebrations, making floats for the carnival.

“Our council are being very supportive of the idea and we are very excited about possible venues.

“We have some shedders in this area, but having a venue will make it even better.”

There will also be walking, cycling and football.

Shed UK member Aiden Hill, 47, of Lemsford Lane, said: “I am incredibly excited this is happening, especially as the funding has been made available for a permanent venue.”

“The movement is open to all men.

“We really enjoyed being able to make a ramp for toy cars at The Hatfield Community Hub and are pleased the children are getting good use of it.”

Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire, Professor Jim McManus is fully supportive of the project.

He said: “Men are not always good at taking care of their mental health.

“Nationally, we are seeing a rise in mental health problems and suicides.

“Shed UK is an informal way of getting men to open up and access support from peer. Peer support can be really effective either by itself or alongside more professional care.”

For the UK Men’s Shed Association visit: https://menssheds.org.uk/about/#who-we-are

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