Men’s Sheds could be on the way to Hartlepool

Peter Gowland of HVDA.
Peter Gowland of HVDA.
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AN international network of communal sheds for men could be on the way to Hartlepool.

There are currently 90 branches of an organisation called Men’s Sheds across the UK.

And if enough interest is shown when a speaker from the group comes to town next month, then Hartlepool could have its first one too.

The idea is that a group of men, with an interest in making items, or growing plants and vegetables, for their own satisfaction or the community, form a club and meet regularly at their shed.

As well as social and therapeutic benefits for those involved, there can also be physical benefits as research shows that men tend to talk to each other more while they are working alongside each other and could encourage each other to seek medical help if health problems arise.

Hartlepool Voluntary Development Association (HVDA) has been instrumental in setting up a meeting with the chairman of the Camden Men’s Shed group and founder of the UK’s Men’s Shed Association, Mike Jenn.

It follows interest in the communal idea from one town resident.

Mike will be speaking at The Peoples Centre, in Raby Road, Hartlepool, at 2pm on Monday, September 8.

Peter Gowland, from HVDA, will be relaying the information at a second meeting on the same day at 7pm.

Peter said: “I was really surprised that this amount of Men’s Sheds has sprung up around the country.

“It started in Australia and it’s a really good idea.”

He added: “Health experts say there are therapeutic benefits in letting men escape to their simple sanctuaries, meet others and weld, shape or tinker in some way.

“Some just do things for themselves or their families, while others make items for those in need in the community.

“If there’s enough interest then we could have one set up in Hartlepool as well.”

The meeting should last around 30 minutes and there is no need to book.