Men’s Shed group from Ditchingham seeking permanent location for workshop

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:29 09 January 2017

John Lange, Fred Hartwell and Nick Cooklin from the Ditchingham Men's Shed group, who are looking for a permanent home. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

John Lange, Fred Hartwell and Nick Cooklin from the Ditchingham Men's Shed group, who are looking for a permanent home. PHOTO: Nick Butcher


For decades a shed has been man’s sanctuary- a place where the sound of hammering and drilling could be heard as he crafts and creates objects for work or pleasure.

However, as many men grow older, retire or lose the companionship of loved ones who have passed away- feelings of loneliness and isolation can cause them to no longer participate in the hobbies they once enjoyed.

But a group of men from Ditchingham are offering an alternative to this, by encouraging men to “come out here and stay young”.

The Ditchingham Men’s Shed Group formed in June 2016 and has ten regular members who meet every Friday for a social discussion at either Broome Village Hall or Emmaus Norwich in Ditchingham.

However, despite regular meetings and donations of tools, they are yet to find a permanent place to establish a workshop.

Chairman, Fred Hartwell, 74, said: “A couple of times our hopes have been raised but for various reasons it is yet to happen.

“The community is in favour of what we plan and South Norfolk Council has given us advice and help but we are really just asking for help from anyone.

“If they have a garage or barn they no longer use and would be willing to rent out, we would be interested.”

Men’s Shed groups are community social groups set up for men. The origins of the idea began in Australia more than ten years ago as a way of combating issues such as isolation and depression.

Mr Hartwell explains currently there are in excess of 300 Men’s Shed groups in Great Britain with nearby Lowestoft and Halesworth also having their own groups.

Fred Hartwell said: “Anyone can come along whether they want to do some work or just make a cup of tea and have a yarn- it’s all about bringing the community together.

“Our members range in age from 58 to 84 and we are not exclusive to men. So I would encourage people to join us and come out here and stay young.”

The group plans to carry out activities such as woodwork, crafts and toy repairs with any profit being used to purchase tools and equipment for members to use.

If you would like to join Ditchingham Men’s Shed Group call: 01986 895 414.

Or for more information about Men’s Shed visit:

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