Delight as huge Lottery grant secured for Eastbourne men's shed project

An Eastbourne shed project designed to tackle isolation has received a boost from the Lottery.
'Shedders' are celebrating the news'Shedders' are celebrating the news
'Shedders' are celebrating the news

Age Concern Eastbourne has received a £478,000 grant from the Big Lottery, which will go towards the Eastbourne men’s shed as well as opening new sheds in Langney and Hampden Park over the next five years.

John Trainor, chief executive of Age Concern Eastbourne said, “We are absolutely delighted. The shed has been open since 2015 but running from hand to mouth for the last year or so. The funding from the Lottery provides the project with security for the next five years.”

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The Eastbourne shed was the first of its kind in Sussex and is part of a growing movement of men’s sheds across the UK. It is aimed at helping isolated men aged 50 and above, though both men and women can join and are called ‘shedders’.

Eastbourne men's shed is aimed at tackling isolation in men over 50Eastbourne men's shed is aimed at tackling isolation in men over 50
Eastbourne men's shed is aimed at tackling isolation in men over 50

The idea behind the project is that men communicate differently from women and need to have a common activity to help them talk to each other.

“Women talk face to face, men talk side by side,” said Mr Trainor, “Shedders share skills and knowledge with each other and friendships quickly build up.”

Every shed is different but in the main she Eastbourne shedders do wood carving and turning, refurbishing old tools and machines and model making. Community projects are also a large part of what the shed does – whether it’s building bird tables for nursing homes, garden planters for St Matthew’s Mission or working with local primary schools.

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Derek Pilcher, one of the shedders said, “It is somewhere to have a laugh, socialise and stay active.

“The Shed is a bit like work but you don’t have to turn up if you don’t want to and you haven’t got your boss breathing down your neck.”

The Myrtle Road Shed is currently open Wednesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and the new sheds in Hampden Park and Langney will be opened over the coming months.

To find out more, call Age Concern Eastbourne on 01323 638474.

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