'It's worked out fantastically' - men's shed finally gets its own home

Ray Winder, chairman of the North Walsham Men's Sheds, which are appealing for a new home in the tow

Ray Winder, chairman of the North Walsham Men's Shed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A men's shed finally has a home of its own after spending three years in a cramped and cold pub back room.

North Walsham Men's Shed will open in its own premises on the grounds of The Grange care home at 2.30pm on Saturday April 17.

For three years the group met in the backroom of the White Swan, where participants had to wrap up warm during winter, however the agreement came to an end when there was a change of landlord at the pub last year.

After months of searching, group chairman Ray Winder was approached by the care home, whose staff had read a story about the group, and offered the men's shed their own heated room and storage facility for £10 an hour.

However, the group was unable to afford it and instead agreed to pay £10 per session while helping the care home with repair work for free.

Ray Winder, chairman of the North Walsham Men's Sheds, which are appealing for a new home in the tow

Ray Winder with some of the items the group has made. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Mr Winder said: "When we were searching there were no buildings available because all the buildings in the town and surrounding area are all owned by private landlords, so we were struggling like anything.

"But we put an article in the EDP itself on Saturday and I woke up and an email came through on the Sunday morning offering us a place at The Grange care home.

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"It's worked out fantastically because we're totally independent from the care home, although we've told them we'll do any little jobs as part of the agreement for us to go in there.

"Although I'm retired I'm working harder than I've ever worked, doing risk assessments for every tool we've got and all the official paperwork so it's all going to be correct.

"It's an ideal situation, we're for the community, in the community."

Ray Winder, chairman of the North Walsham Men's Sheds, which are appealing for a new home in the tow

Ray Winder with some of the items the group has made. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Despite its name, Mr Winder says the men's shed is open to all who are looking for something to do, feeling lonely or want to make some new friends, and he is considering starting a women's shed in the near future if there is enough interest.

The opening ceremony on April 17 will be attended by North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker and Norfolk county councillor Eric Seward, with Mr Baker cutting the ribbon.

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