Croydon’s Men’s Shed is providing a safe space for people to come together and take care of their mental health while learning new skills, such as gardening, food growing and woodwork.
Croydon Council’s Men’s Shed is a community project based at Good Food Matters in Mickleham Way, New Addington CR0 0PN. The Shed is an opportunity for men aged over 18 to join weekly activities and eat together every Friday from 11.00am to 3.00pm. A video about the project can be watched here.
The council is highlighting the project during Mental Health Awareness Week, 15-21 May, to encourage more local men to take part.
Men’s Sheds offer activities that are similar to what people might traditionally do in their garden shed, but with the additional aims for groups of men to be part of a community, feel a sense of fulfilment and achievement and enjoy time together to benefit their health and wellbeing.
Croydon’s Men’s Shed community project is intergenerational, and women can take part if they wish to attend too.
The council, working with the NHS, received funding for this project to support people’s mental health following the pandemic.
“Croydon’s Men’s Shed project is a community space, mainly for men to connect, talk and create, and most importantly to have fun. Everyone who attends benefits from the regular social interactions, learning new skills, sharing their knowledge with others, and participating in activities they enjoy. Community projects like these are vital for tackling feelings of loneliness and isolation which can adversely affect your health and wellbeing.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
Scott Wakefield from Selsdon, who attends Croydon’s Men’s Shed, said: “Places like Men’s Sheds are good for men and people in the community as it teaches you a lot. Coming here is also good for my mental health. I am a young carer and I spend a lot of time looking after my mum at home. Getting out and learning new skills, especially in nature, working with my hands and doing something physical is beneficial to me. I would definitely recommend Men’s Sheds to others because it’s also fun.”
Ben Elliot Sur, support worker at Croydon’s Men’s Shed, said: “Following the pandemic we found people do not feel the same as before and may not be in the same rhythm of life. Our Men’s Shed in Good Food Matters provides the community with a space to work things out, gain skills and be active. Some use us as a recommendation for employment, and retired people often welcome the opportunity to get back into a routine. This is a win-win situation for those that come and join us.”