THEY’VE given retired men something to focus on across the area.
And now the founder of Men’s Sheds has decided to host a worldwide summit in Havant.
David Helmers will travel from Australia and be joined by Irish chairman John Evoy at Havant’s Public Service Plaza to host a meeting to promote the growth of the groups in the UK.
John Worley, chairman of the Havant Men’s Shed Association, said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen Havant.
‘The Men’s Shed gives retired men something to live for as a lot of vulnerable men don’t know what to do with themselves when they give up work.
‘It’s a great atmosphere at the meetings and everyone is happy – which is what it’s all about.
‘There’s an old saying that women bond face-to-face and men bond shoulder-to-shoulder and I really think that sums up what we’re about – giving men the opportunity to socialise and learn new skills.’
The idea for Havant’s Men’s Shed came out of a conversation between Havant Borough Council and MIND, the mental health charity, into what they could do to improve the lives of older men in Havant.
There are three Men’s Shed associations in Havant, two in Portsmouth, one in both Gosport and Southbourne – and one in Waterlooville opening soon.
Mr Worley helped set up the Havant Men’s Shed association last month and said he thinks the group is a good opportunity for retired men.
He said: ‘I decided to get involved with the Men’s Shed after my wife wanted to downsize and move to a house with no shed – but the new house ended up being 100 yards away from the Havant’s Men’s Shed.
‘I used to work for the U3A, University of the Third Age, and I found that females usually got the most out of the social aspects, whereas men found it harder.’
The movement was started in Australia seven years ago by David Helmers, with government support, and swept Ireland before reaching the UK last year.
Mr Helmers and Irish chairman John Evoy will be at The Plaza, promoting Men’s Shed, on Friday from 1.45pm until 3.30pm. Both men and women are welcome to go along to find out more about the movement.
Waterlooville Men’s Shed opens at the old pavilion, off Padnell Road, Cowplain, on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
Go to havantshed.org.uk