Men’s Shed comes to Tonbridge in bid to prevent male isolation

Men's Shed comes to Tonbridge in bid to prevent male isolation
Men's Shed comes to Tonbridge

The sheds are designed to offer a place to socialise, while allowing members to learn practical skills and try out do-it-yourself projects.

A spokesperson said: “Men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, and unlike women of a similar age, fewer older men have networks of friends and rarely share personal concerns about health and personal worries.

“It is not the case for all men, but for some, when retirement comes it can feel like personal identity and purpose is lost.

“Sheds are about meeting like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge, and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.

“As a by-product of all of that, they reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness, they allow men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities and, in many cases, they save men’s lives.”

There is already a well-established Men’s Shed in Sherwood, Tunbridge Wells, which started in 2015 and runs three-hour sessions twice a week, offering a variety of activities.

Debi Simpson, a community mental health Occupational Therapist, decided to organise a steering group in Tonbridge after seeing the success of the project.

She said: “I visited the Sherwood Men’s Shed and one in Sevenoaks in my work role and I liked what I saw, hence I have decided to be part of setting one up in Tonbridge.

“Once the steering group is organised we will have a better idea as to what exactly will be on offer, but we hope to offer woodwork, metalwork and more.”

Tim Tempest, Chairman of Sherwood Men’s Shed, told the Times: “We plan to go along to the meeting to see how we can help them set up from a legal point of view, as we did in Groombridge and Heathfield.”

The meeting will be held at First Tonbridge Scout Group Hut in Lamberts Yard, River Lawn Road on Monday [March 16] at 6pm.

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