A BASE to help men find companionship and share skills has been officially opened.
A group of locals set up the Fawley Men’s Shed in May and took over a derelict building owned by the parish council in exchange for a peppercorn rent.
Located near Gang Warily recreation ground, it has been refurbished by the parish council, and membership of the group costs £10 per year and £2 per visit. That includes hot drinks and biscuits and it is currently open on Thursdays between 10am and 4pm.
The idea of men’s sheds, which are becoming popular across the country, is to provide a place for people to gather and build friendships as well as sharing skills and knowledge.
At Fawley, the group enjoy woodwork and metalwork and soon hope to sell their products to raise money for the community. So far they have over 35 members.
At the official opening, parish council chairman Cllr Alan Alvey said: “Fawley Parish Council is really excited to have supported the start-up of the men’s shed.
“For a long time, research has shown the negative impact of isolation on a person’s health
and well-being. Typically, men find it hard to build social connections. Sheds are about meeting new people, sharing skills and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.
They rebuild communities and are said even to save men’s lives.”
Chairman and founder member, Barry Coyston, told the A&T that Fawley Men’s Shed, which is now a registered charity, had been helped by donations from ExxonMobil and the Dibden Allotments Fund.
The shed has been fitted with workbenches and some tools, although donations of equipment are always welcome.