Sheriff opens Norwich Men’s Shed in time for World Cup debut

High Sheriff of Norwich William Armstrong on his first official engagement opening the Shed, Beckham

High Sheriff of Norwich William Armstrong on his first official engagement opening the Shed, Beckham Place , Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

A community shed which was set up as part of an international movement was officially opened by the Sheriff of Norwich at the weekend.

The Norwich Men's Shed was opened on Saturday afternoon by Sheriff William Armstrong, six months after it welcomed its first visitors through its doors.

The opening was followed by taster sessions, a barbecue and a screening of England's World Cup debut.

The shed, on Beckham Place, is not dissimilar to the humble garden variety – it is mainly used for whittling wood, storing tools and embarking on projects. But it is also part of a community project aiming to support the well-being of men, which originated in Australia.

Opening three times a week, it gives men a chance to socialise, work on projects and indulge in hobbies.

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Andy Wood, local co-ordinator, said: 'Sheds provide a place for blokes to meet informally and safely to do stuff together.

'They help to keep men of all ages and backgrounds fit and healthy, physically and mentally.'

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The concept has become so popular that it is even given state funding in Australia. It reached the UK in 2009 when Age Concern set up the first Men's Shed in Cheshire.

The Norwich shed was set up by MensCraft, a community interest group which supports the development and well-being of men and boys. The Sheriff's visit also coincided with Men's Health Week, which ran from June 9 to 15.

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