A PROJECT which aims to give men in West Somerset a new outlet in their social life and gain skills at the same time had a successful pilot event this week.

The pilot event took place on Saturday, August 17 on the forecourt of Minehead’s Old Hospital building and saw eight men attend to make a ‘mud kitchen’ for one of the local schools.

Although still without permanent premises, the Minehead Men’s Shed had received such support from local people earlier in the year that the organisers wanted to get sessions up and running.

It was therefore decided that an outdoor venue could be used initially.

Men’s Sheds are becoming increasingly popular across the country as an initiative to offer men a place to connect, converse and create within their community while taking part in practical activities that they enjoy, but also may have done previously in solitude.

The project is being driven by local charity Engage who support voluntary and community groups locally as well as run the furniture re-use project in Alcombe.

Successful Men’s Sheds are already operating in Bridgwater, Frome , Yeovil, Shepton Mallet and Street in Somerset.

Andrew Hazlewood, organiser of the project said: “We had very positive feedback on Saturday from the men who attended and members of the public who stopped and asked what we were doing.

“Local people are clearly enthusiastic about the launch of a Men’s Shed and we are working hard behind the scenes to source a permanent venue.

“Once we have this in place we will be able to offer regular sessions where people will be able to build and repair items whilst also enjoying the company of others”.

If you would like to offer help or find out more information about the Minehead Men’s Shed, call Engage on 01643 707123 or find the Minehead Men’s Shed page on Facebook.

See mensheds/org.uk for more details about Men’s Sheds.