Men's mental health project launches in Whaley Bridge

A branch of the national campaign Men’s Sheds has launched in Whaley Bridge to tackle loneliness, isolation and to improve the mental health of men.

Monday, 23rd May 2022, 8:56 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 9:02 am

Men’s Sheds have been popping up for several years now to give men a chance to meet up, work on practical projects and build friendships.

Now a weekly session in the Transhipment Warehouse at the Whaley Bridge Canal Basin has started.

Nev Clarke, from the warehouse, said: “This is something we were considering pre-Covid.

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Andy Comley and Nev Clarke get ready for Whaley Bridge's new Men's Shed group

"Our aim with the transhipment has been to provide a welcoming and engaging space for all of our community.

“The pandemic has brought a focus on mental health concerns and creating avenues where we can facilitate something truly positive was of course something we jumped at.”

The warehouse is now official members of the Men’s Sheds Association and will be known as the Whaley Shed.

Andy Comley, an artist, boater and therapist and Garth Urlicson, a skilled woodworker, will be leading the project. Initially it will be focussing on reclaimed timber projects but the focus of the shed will come from the group.

A spokesperson for Men’s Sheds said: “Men’s Sheds are similar to garden sheds – a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending.

"The difference is garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature while Men’s Sheds are the opposite. They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.”

Whaley Shed’s aim is to open up to all members of the community but for the time being it will be men only on Thursdays from 11am to 2pm.

These are being run downstairs in the Transhipment Warehouse.

Nev added: “We’re also running Craft and Chat sessions upstairs on Thursdays, 1.30pm till around 4pm, where anyone can come along with a project and work on them in company.

“The thinking behind both activities it is that people will share their skills and learn new ones.”

Both are free, with hot beverages available for purchase.

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