Resident remembers useful skills thanks to Mens Shed

Paul Lake remembered some of the skills he learned at school and started to put them to use.

Paul is just putting the finishing touches on a bench that he has created for his very good friend and neighbour Hilda Robinson when we meet him, one of several projects he has finished since he took part in PCH’s Men’s Shed project.

 The Men’s Shed is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests. The Shed is about helping men who might be feeling either isolated or need a project to get stuck into. It gives the men involved an opportunity to meet others, share their skills with the rest of the group and to help their community.

For Paul it was a suggestion from his Doctor: “I was told that it would do me good to get out and about and meet some new people, maybe make some new friends and get a hobby. I’ve got friends here where I live but there’s not a great deal for me in the area, a lot of the people meet once a week to play bingo but that’s not really my cup of tea.

“When I heard about the Men’s Shed it was exactly the sort of thing I had been looking for, so I went on down to Poole Farm to take part and as soon as the safety talk was over we were all really keen to get stuck into making things!”

PCH’s Andy Lamerton, Nick Boyes and Lee Trigg helped the men with tools and guidance at first and Paul got stuck straight in, first making a planter that was donated to a care home and then a stool so that he could reach to clean his windows at home.

Paul said: “Within a few days I was remembering all the woodwork skills that I had learned when I was younger and putting them to good use. I wanted to carry on outside of the Men’s Shed and so when I got home I got all the materials I needed and made myself a sturdy workbench to carry on making things.

“It was then that my friend Hilda suggested I create things for around the neighbourhood, so I offered to make her a bench to sit in her garden and that’s exactly what I have done. She just needs a coat of varnish to finish – the bench that is, not Hilda!

“Hilda was the one suggesting I get a hobby to get me out of the house more and now she’s complaining that I’m never in because I’m always out in my shed! I loved the time I spent at the Men’s Shed it was a great experience and has given me a new lease of life. I really hope that PCH manages to continue these sessions as they are brilliant for people like me who have those handy skills and want to put them to use while meeting new people.”