Film highlights important work of Halesworth Mens’ Shed as group gets £2,000 boost

At the Halesworth Men�s Shed base, from left, Derek Wilkin, Nick Rowlerson, Co-op customer team lead

At the Halesworth Men�s Shed base, from left, Derek Wilkin, Nick Rowlerson, Co-op customer team leader Richard Doy and chairman Alan Richardson. Picture: Central England Co-operative. - Credit: Archant

A scheme aimed at combating loneliness among elderly men has been given a boost in Halesworth thanks to a £2,000 grant.

The Halesworth Mens' Shed group has been running from its base in Norwich Road since September 2015, and thanks to a £2,150 grant from the Central England Co-operative Community Dividend Fund, has now been able to buy new equipment.

The group benefits over 40 members of the community by providing a place to work and socialise, preventing them from becoming isolated.

Members originally made just woodwork based items, but thanks to the funds have now been able to branch out into light engineering, metalwork and modelling.

And to celebrate the boost, a film has been created showcasing how the money was spent and the difference it has made.

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Alan Richardson, from Halesworth Mens' Shed, said: 'Our members come from all works of life and bring with them a multitude of talents.

'Some of our members, men and women, come for numerous reasons but primarily always linked to loneliness whether through bereavement, illness, redundancy or retirement. Our long-term aim would be to eradicate loneliness.'

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Although the group is mainly for retired men, it also attracts younger people looking to build their confidence and some women.

All of the equipment has either been donated, paid for by local businesses or groups or bought with members' money or grants.

James Patrick, who attends the group, said: 'I suffer from agoraphobia and I was stuck in all the time. It was lonely because all my friends moved away. Since coming here with my carer I have met new people and learnt new skills and it gives me something to look forward to during the week.'

Blair Williams, who suffers with depression and anxiety, added: 'Living with it you can find ways of coping and this is an absolutely fantastic place to come to meet people and help get rid of your anxieties.'

Since being launched in 2007, the Co-operative fund has handed out over £2m to hundreds of groups. Grants of between £100 and £5,000 are presented every three months.

People can apply for funding by visiting

For more information visit

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