Gosport group visit Downing Street to ask for support

Roy Sparshott, left, and Martin Corrick at the Gosport Shed when it was still based at Fort Brockhurst 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14286-5)
Roy Sparshott, left, and Martin Corrick at the Gosport Shed when it was still based at Fort Brockhurst 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14286-5)
Lewis Hine and his mum Emma at the Friend Finder Prom 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170626-1)

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  • Gosport Shed say membership has tripled in six months
  • Petition handed over to ask for help in finding new home
  • Group is a social centre for men over 55
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MEMBERS of a popular community group have taken their fight for a new home to Downing Street.

Five members of The Gosport Shed visited the home of the prime minister yesterday to hand over the petition, signed by 70 people.

We all felt a sense of history and that we were doing something really worthwhile

Clyde Campouser

The club is based at St Vincent College but its membership has tripled in the past six months and it is running out of space, with 90 members.

Now, the group is hoping that David Cameron can help find it a new home.

Clyde Campouser, who runs the funding and PR for the Gosport Shed, said: ‘We are very short of space.

‘We are getting more people referred to us by GPs and we think the government should help us in some way.

‘At the moment we are going to have to stop people from joining and that would be a shame.’

The shed is a workshop 
and social centre for men over 55. In Gosport, more than half of the membership are ex-servicemen or former Portsmouth dockyard workers.

The Gosport Shed started at Fort Brockhurst, but English Heritage imposed restrictions which made it unworkable.

It then moved into a portable cabin at St Vincent College and recently acquired a second cabin.

But the terms of the 
five-year lease make it impossible for the group to bid for grants or lottery.

Mr Campouser said members find the group very helpful.

‘We have had people coming to us who have been near to committing suicide.

‘They might have been suffering from loneliness or depression.

‘We’ve had people whose marriages are falling apart.

‘This makes an amazing difference.’

The group handed the petition over alongside Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.

Mr Campouser added: ‘It was absolutely amazing.

‘We all felt a sense of 
history and that we were doing something really worthwhile.’

Visit thegosportshed.btck.co.uk to find out more.