A Long Sutton businessman is taking the first steps towards launching a “man shed” to help combat loneliness in the Suttons and Tydd St Mary.
District councillor Jack Tyrrell was inspired to act after a friend lost his wife of many years and found himself alone.
Jack believes there are many people in the Suttons and Tydd St Mary who would enjoy having somewhere to go for a cup of tea – and putting their skills to good use if they wish.
He chairs EELS (Entertainments and Events in Long Sutton), which gives free presents to hundreds of children visiting a Santa grotto at Christmas.
Many of those gifts, like bikes and dolls houses, need a few running repairs which people attending the man shed could do.
Jack has chatted to residents about the scheme and says a woman expressed an interest, saying women could make things for the children too.
But now he wants to hear from residents so he can decide whether to go ahead with the project.
He has a building which would cost £13,000 to convert to a man shed and doesn’t want to do that without expressions of public support.
Jack has also learned annual running costs for a man shed could be around £5,000 and is due to meet district council officials to talk about possible grant funding.
He said; “If you are interested in seeing it set up, please let us know.”
• If you would be keen to attend, please send a letter including your name, address and phone number to Jack Tyrrell, Silverwood Garden Centre, Brownsgate, Long Sutton PE12 9AU.
The UK Men’s Sheds Association describes men’s sheds as safe, friendly and inclusive venues.
Men’s sheds provide space for skill-sharing, informal learning and pursuit of individual and community projects.
Some 359 sheds are currently open with another 97 in development.
One user said: “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and for two days a week I feel I’m gainfully employed. I really feel good working with and helping chaps who often feel isolated in the community.
“I would need a very good reason not to come.”
• What do you think of the idea. Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org