Men’s Shed club in desperate plea to find new home

Andy Pottinger, 65, left, with Jim Steele, 67.''Picture by:  Malcolm Wells
Andy Pottinger, 65, left, with Jim Steele, 67.''Picture by: Malcolm Wells
From left, Horatia House, Noah Harthill-Bates, seven, Michelle Bates, 50, Nilson Scotti, 42, Sibele Scotti, 32, with Sophia Scotti in the pushchair ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180605-2287)

Tower block tenants have ‘more chance’ of finding houses outside Portsmouth, council says

Have your say

A GROUP dedicated to providing men with a space to socialise and to make and mend things is looking for a new home.

Members of the Portsea Men’s Shed are undertaking a desperate search for a new premises before their current lease runs out.

Having taken pride of place at St George’s Church Hall since January 2015, the 20-strong group will be forced to move on in June.

But before it can, the collective needs to find a new place to meet – and it needs to be one large enough to facilitate its growing roster.

Andy Pottinger, 65, is the chairman of the dab-handed club.

He said: ‘Time is ticking for us and we are having a bit of trouble finding a spot to call home.

‘It would be wonderful to nail down a new, larger premises sometime soon because we could then go on to establish ourselves in the wider area – taking on more jobs and enjoying bigger projects.

‘But truth be told, the search is beginning to get frustrating.’

Since it was started three years ago, the Portsea Men’s Shed has been commissioned to carry out vital work for organisations across The News area – all while benefitting the physical and mental wellbeing of its members.

Some of the projects taken on by the group include repaired benches for Portsea Adventure Playground, plant boxes for local schools, model tanks for the D-Day Museum in Southsea and a Santa’s sleigh for the Portsmouth Round Table.

And while each of these works have given the club’s male makers a sense of achievement, their benefits far transcend the four walls of the church hall.

Longtime member Jim Steele – who has lived in Portsmouth since 1985 – said: ‘This is so much more than a place for us blokes to get together and make things.

‘With many of us being retired, we often miss the banter and sense of camaraderie we would’ve once enjoyed in the office, or wherever we each worked.

‘But the Portsea Men’s Shed helps us rekindle that – it’s a fantastic place to enjoy the company of like-minded folk, get creative and sometimes even sit down and discuss your problems.

‘A new home really would be great news for us.’

The group has engaged in talks to use space at another city church, to no avail.