St Elizabeth Hospice has launched a men’s shed project to provide patients with a place to enjoy practical hobbies, socialise and meet other patients while accessing hospice services.
Men’s sheds is a well- established concept which enables men from all walks of life to meet and pursue practical interests, sharing and using their skills, as well as creating social connections and friendship.
Day care manager Kate Barber said: “Many men find it particularly difficult to re-engage with social opportunities when faced with serious illness or loss, and can be left feeling isolated and lonely.
We know men are less likely than women to talk to each other about how they feel and a men’s shed project gives them a chance to meet others in similar situations and can help them feel like the person they used to be, giving them back their role in life and sense of identity. There are really positive social and mental health benefits to projects like this.”
Hospice day care patient, Alan Druce’s first task was making a sign for the shed. He said: “I enjoy making wooden toys at home and bring them into the hospice to sell.” Tapping his head he added: “It keeps this working. Even if people don’t have a clue how to make things, there will be somebody around who knows what to do.”
Looking around the shed Alan immediately engaged with the project commenting on the work bench area and the overhead lighting needed to operate tools safely.
The project has been kindly supported by Stowmarket Meadland’s men shed project who also attended the opening.