A NEW network of Men’s Sheds could be formed as the scheme has proved to be a massive hit across the south coast.
A meeting has been called later this month to gather together all the representatives from the Men’s Sheds in the southern region.
Within a 50-mile radius of Portsmouth there are now 30 sheds.
There are sheds from Gosport to Southbourne and even a ladies’ shed has opened in Horndean.
The movement started in Australia in the 1990s and has since spread across the world as a way for older people to socialise, do activities and build things.
The inaugural meeting of the southern network takes place at the Stacey Community Centre, in Walsall Road, Copnor, from 1pm to 4pm on Tuesday, January 12.
Stephen Redrup, trustee of the Portsmouth Men’s Shed, which is based at the Stacey Centre and St George’s Church in Portsea, said: ‘I was tasked at our last annual general meeting to organise an initial meeting of representatives from all the Men’s Sheds to create a forum for sheds to share experiences, ideas and resources with the aim of helping each other and supporting the creation of new sheds in the region.
‘At present we are expecting over 30 representatives at the meeting.
‘Copnor is one of the most recent sheds, having had a large wooden cabin installed withing the past six months, but is already very active.’
The concept has been supported by leaders of other Men’s Shed.
John Worley, chairman of the trustees at Havant Men’s Shed, which has around 30 members, said: ‘It’s a very good idea.
‘The sheds are all different and we can learn from going to another shed and seeing what their problems are and how they have solved them.
‘It’s very strong round here. There’s something like nine down here from Southbourne to Gosport.’
Clyde Campouser, from Gosport Men’s Shed, said: ‘It’s a good idea. In Australia where it all started they have a national organisation and that has proved so beneficial to communities in Australia.
‘The government now helps fund the start-up of new sheds because it relieves local health services so much.’