Funding boost for Rayleigh skills workshop

A practical skills project encouraging more men to socialise has received a timely funding boost to improve safety.

Support from Sanctuary Housing has helped the Men’s Shed at Rayleigh Weir carry out urgent repairs to the roof on its workshop, which was leaking near to electrical wires, ahead of the winter.

The shed, based at the Megacentre in Brook Road, offers men who are either unemployed, retired or working from home the opportunity to take part in activities such as carpentry and metalwork and chat over a cup of tea.

With 40 members, who are known as ‘Shedders’, the group meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and every other Sunday from 10am to 1pm.

The group put their skills to use making a variety of items to benefit the community, including garden planters and hedgehog houses.

Secretary John Youell said: “Our task is to provide a place for men from all walks of life to meet, socialise and share skills.

“The group is proving popular and this money will enable us to continue the work we do in a safe environment.”

Chris Silvey, Sanctuary’s resident involvement officer, added: “The Men’s Shed provides an important outlet in the community and it is imperative the group has somewhere safe to meet.”

Sessions cost £2 and for more information contact john@rayleighshed.org

The Men’s Shed movement, which was founded in Australia, started in the UK in 2013 and currently has more than 400 sheds across the country.

Sanctuary is supporting the project through its Maureen’s Gift fund, which gives donations to charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations in need of financial help to deliver community activities. It was set up in 2011 in memory of local community champion Maureen Vince.

To apply or find out more about Maureen’s Gift, contact Sanctuary, quoting Maureen’s Gift, on either 0300 123 3511 or 0800 131 3348. Alternatively, email contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

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