Published date: 25 July 2023

Men’s Shed Initiative Opens in Clacton-on Sea

Supporting men’s health is essential; all men should feel safe and comfortable sharing their feelings during times of hardship and general day-to-day struggles. Battles that men go through – from physical to mental health – needs to be a topic of conversation that transcends Men’s Health Week alone.

Therefore, NHS Property Services (NHSPS) assisted in facilitating a Men’s Shed at Kennedy Way Community Garden in Clacton-on Sea. Although the project has been operating for over a year, they had their formal grand opening this week. 

The social prescribing initiative promotes networking, reduces isolation and loneliness, and fosters communication between men on topics like mental health. The unique aspect of Men’s Shed is that contrary to building a garden shed – which is often a solitary activity – the programme supports bonding over shared interests and building something collectively.   

According to Men’s Health Forum, statistics show that one in five men die before the age of 65; that four out of five suicides are male; and that men make up 75% of premature deaths from heart failure. And so, NHSPS has worked with Men’s Shed to promote social engagement, and to be a catalyst for change and highlighting the importance of sharing experiences without judgement.   

Rhea Horlock, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for NHSPS, said: “Seeking help can be a daunting prospect for many men, so projects like Men’s Shed will help more men speak up and reap the benefits that the program has to offer. We want to cement avenues where men can talk without judgement, and it is our responsibility to ensure that men in broader communities are able to seek assistance.” 

“We are delighted that the initiative is now operating out of one of our social prescribing sites, and we will continue to work with Men’s Shed to ensure they have the tools they need to succeed. As NHSPS turns 10, we acknowledge that men – and women – face great hardship in life, so we’re committed to supporting these programmes for the next 10 years and beyond.”  

Sharon Alexander, Chief Executive Officer, Community Voluntary Services Tendring, said: “Thanks to NHSPS, our supporters, friends and volunteers, we have together, from that first seed of an idea planted, created a magical place for local people, visitors and staff of the Kennedy Way Medical Centre, to come and enjoy the space, meet friends, get fit and learn new skills.” 

She continued: “The Kennedy Way Community Garden is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when everyone works in collaboration putting the community at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to the future, empowering people from growing vegetables and plants to volunteering at the Upcycle Hub or helping out at the Community Hub, the opportunities to lead healthy, happy, independent, more fulfilling lives are endless. The fruits of our labour will grow from strength to strength.”