District Men’s Shed News

An East Staffordshire men’s community group is celebrating the next step in building a toolkit to tackle loneliness and isolation - thanks to support from JCB.

Rocester and District Men’s Shed has taken delivery of £500 worth of tools to enable members to practise DIY and woodworking skills at their weekly get-togethers.  The group’s ten members travel from Ashbourne, Uttoxeter, Stramshall and Denstone, to meet each Wednesday morning for cuppas, chats and making and mending sessions. 

The Men’s Shed movement is an international organisation founded in Australia to bring men together for making and repairing goods, but mainly for companionship – whether they are retired, unemployed or have disabilities.

Founder and chairman of Rocester and District Men’s Shed, Ian Roberts said: “As churchwarden at St Michael’s Church in Rocester my job was to strengthen relationships with the community, and I heard about the Men’s Shed movement.  While there are lots of clubs and groups for women to meet, there was nothing specifically for men to overcome issues of loneliness and isolation - especially in retirement - so in June last year we set up the Men’s Shed in a portable cabin on land behind Rocester Village Hall.”

Up to now members have had to bring along their own tools, but the JCB donation has enabled us to begin equipping the shed with items that everyone can use; we now have a table saw, mitre saw, and variety of hand saws and drill bits.

Ian Roberts | Founder and Chairman of Rocester and District Men’s Shed

“We are extremely grateful to JCB for their support, and this donation will enable us to grow, welcome more members and really make a difference to the lives of local people in building that sense of community and combatting loneliness.” 

The Men’s Shed meets each Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 12.30pm behind Rocester Village Hall, High Street, and new members are always welcome. It is free of charge to attend. 

The group would also welcome any financial support or donations of tools to kit out the Men’s Shed – contact Ian Roberts on 07868319502.