RINGWOOD Men’s Shed has celebrated the opening of its new workshop.

The workshop is located in the old Scout hall at the bottom of Strides Lane footpath. An open day was held last month to showcase what the community group does as well as the new workshop.

Former Ringwood mayor Tim Ward, who set up the group, says getting the workshop has been a “long time coming” and added: “It is terrific. Up until now we’ve been doing things around the town – painting jobs, litter picks, weed pulls, marshalling, all sorts – but we haven’t been able to make stuff.”

The workshop provides a space where members can make things as well as socialise.

The group was started at the end of January 2020 and aims to tackle loneliness and isolation and get people involved in community projects. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns the group has managed to continue and develop.

“When it first started it was right at the beginning of the pandemic and everything was closed down. But we managed to continue and keep in touch with people who had registered an interest in joining,” adds Tim.

When restrictions were lifted the group was able to start holding regular afternoon meetings and those have continued attracting around 15 to 20 people. While other members of the group prefer to just go along to the new workshop.

“Some people just want to have the social interaction, have a cup of tea and a chat, while others want to do something for the town,” said Tim. “It is whatever they want to do. There are no hard and fast rules. It’s how they want to use it.”

He added: “It has made a difference to people to be able to come out and to have a reason to get off the settee and walk into town and have a chat and do something.

“It has made a difference and brightened people’s outlook and given them an extra string to their bow.”

Ringwood Men’s Shed members have taken part in variety of tasks including litter picks as well as sprucing up the Acorn round metal ornamental seat last year. It has more projects in the pipeline including making items for local schools as well as marshalling during the town’s jubilee event.

The workshop is normally open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm, and Ringwood Men’s Shed will continue to have a social gathering on Thursdays from 3pm to 5pm at the Conservative Club. Prospective members are always welcome.

Visit ringwoodmensshed.org or the Facebook page for more information.


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