MEN’S shed groups have been given cash to get started.
The organisations from Copnor and Portsea are being backed by a £26,800 grant from Portsmouth City Council.
Shed groups are aimed at giving men the chance to meet new people and learn skills.
The money will pay for building and renovation work so the members can have ‘sheds’ to meet in.
Cllr Frank Jonas, the council’s cabinet member for health and social care, said: ‘These sheds are like larger versions of the sheds that some of us have at the bottom of the garden. They’re places to spend leisure time, but to do something useful as well.’
Members of the Portsea shed meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to midday, at St George’s Church community rooms.
With the grant the group are looking to help renovate the hall at the back of the church, which will then be used by local groups as well as their shed.
The Copnor group meets at Stacey community centre in Walsall Road at midday on Wednesdays for an hour.
Members plan to build a shed in the grounds around the centre. They will also be helping a community cycle project at the centre and give free bicycle maintenance and advice to residents.
‘The money we have been awarded will enable the meeting places to be built or renovated, but the point of these groups is the friendships between members and their links with the nearby community. Both groups are open to any men in Portsmouth who would like to get involved,’ said Cllr Jonas.
The groups plan to offer workshops to teach skills like woodworking, plumbing and decorating to members of their groups.
The city council won the grant from the government’s armed forces community covenant fund. Veterans are being encouraged to join.
There has been a thriving Shed project in Gosport for several years. Martin Corrick from The Gosport Shed said: ‘We are really keen on them opening as there is lots of room for more groups to open up. We have lots of men who attend – if anything too many members – so we would be happy to help new groups set up.’
Anyone interested in joining in Portsmouth can call Tony Keen on (023) 9268 8388.