RETIRED men in Gosport are set to help maintain an historic fort as part of a project to keep older people active.
An agreement between the curator of Fort Brockhurst and Martin Corrick, founder of the Gosport Shed, will see the group move in to the site in Gunner’s Way, Gosport.
The trial will last for a few months and see up to 23 older men use two buildings at the 1862 fort, which is run by English Heritage.
Mr Corrick, 69, of Gordon Road, in Leesland, Gosport, whose project is now the subject of a documentary, said he was ‘amazed’ when the curator agreed to the trial.
He said: ‘The first job we’ve got is to clean up and refurbish the two rooms we’ve been offered.
‘There’s all sorts of issues to resolve, which is good, that’s what we want, a few things to do like power, heating and lighting.
‘We’ll get things done that would cost serious money – we can do painting, brick repair, things like that.’
As reported in The News, Martin suffered from depression after retiring.
He wanted to set up a workshop-type facility for retired men to battle social isolation and depression.
Now the group, which had help from Gosport council and Gosport Voluntary Action, will move in on Tuesday.
It will have two casemates next to each other at the fort.
Curator Pam Braddock praised the idea and said the trial would see if the project works at the fort.
She said: ‘He’s hit on something, there is a need for it.
‘We get a lot of visitors to the fort, and a lot of ex-service people come in.
‘Providing them with something to do is a great thing.
‘The trial we’re doing is for a couple of months to see if we fit each other.’
During the trial the people involved with the shed project will be at the fort from 9am to 4pm each weekday.
Mr Corrick held an open meeting for the scheme back in May, urging retired men to get out of their homes.
He had found county council data from 2010 shows there are 23,050 people in Gosport aged over 55.
And there are 27 people aged 65 and over to every 100 of working age, with this set to increase 39 per 100 by 2018.
Contact Mr Corrick on 07889 762425 or firstname.lastname@example.org