THE permanent home of New Milton’s branch of the international Men’s Shed project – which battles loneliness – has been unveiled by the town’s mayor.
Cllr Alvin Read cut the ribbon (pictured) at the Fernhill Sports Ground facility, which provides a social hub for like-minded folk to meet up, share skills and knowledge and undertake projects to benefit the community. Also present was New Milton Men’s Shed chairman Adrian Duckett.
After it was launched a year ago the branch settled into a temporary base at New Milton Football Club’s Fawcett Field, before the town council allowed it to temporarily move to Fernhill. It searched for a permanent site but after that ran into difficulties, has now been allowed to settle at Fernhill.
Along the way it has received donations of equipment and help, and Mr Duckett specifically thanked New Milton Lions Club, Jill Hennah from the New Milton Residents Association and local county councillor Fran Carpenter for their assistance.
Cllr Geoff Blunden, chairman of the town council’s amenities committee, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to help in getting the New Milton Men’s Shed group up and running by providing their first home.
“Over the past few months I have seen its members grow and witnessed the real health and social benefits such a group offers all those involved. From the start they have got stuck in helping various local community projects using the varied practical and management skills of the members.”
In its first year the New Milton Men’s Shed project has helped build a gazebo and seating for the New Milton Dementia and Community Allotment, and repainted the New Milton Army Cadets hall.
Mr Duckett added: “As well as supporting the community, the Men’s Shed is a great way to socialise, talk about everything and anything, and provide friendship along the way.
“Working together is proven to help general wellbeing, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle and definitely beats loneliness.
“If you feel the need for company, enjoy making things, like talking about technical stuff and miss the workshop banter, then you’ll get a warm welcome at the New Milton Men’s Shed.