Men in Sheds in Okehampton recently welcomed a visit from local MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride.
Director Phil Bush, Treasurer Graham Watson, Secretary Graham Storer, and Jane Taylor, who provides fundraising and admin support, spoke about how the group provides a welcoming, friendly social space for men of all ages and abilities, with the core of their mission being to support men’s mental health.
The registered Community Interest Company, based at Okehampton Community Gardens in Fatherford Lane, is part of a worldwide movement, especially in the UK, with more than 300 sheds already operating.
Okehampton ‘Shedders’ take pride in making a difference to their community, for example by refurbishing furniture for the local British Legion, building fun fair games which local schools can use for fundraising, and helping local women’s charity Gilead Foundations with gardening work and making planters. Men in Sheds recently started sessions with young people from The Promise School in Okehampton to help them with woodwork skills.
“It was great to welcome Mel to Okehampton Men in Sheds and discuss the mental health benefits of regular socialising and feeling worthwhile by contributing to your local community. It is very easy to become socially isolated – perhaps due to retirement or the loss of a spouse – and men can often be reluctant to seek help or open up.”
“Men in Sheds is an amazing movement that helps to shine a much needed light on men’s mental health. It was great to meet Phil, Graham and Jane today to discuss the important work they do and to hear about their plans for the future.”