Hospice launches bereavement group in a shed

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 March 2018

Men In Sheds co-ordinators Wayne, Philip and Chris pictured at Weston Hospicecare’s new man shed.

Men In Sheds co-ordinators Wayne, Philip and Chris pictured at Weston Hospicecare’s new man shed.

Archant

A Weston charity has launched a new bereavement support group for men – in a shed.

Weston Hospicecare has set up the Men In Sheds group to enable men to make new friends while working on a project.

Research has shown bereaved men are often uncomfortable with formal methods of support such as counselling and the scheme is designed to help men feel more relaxed and able to talk.

Men of any age can take advantage of the safe space, where they can meet to enjoy a range of social interests, make new friends and work on their own projects.

Activities will be shaped by participants but could include woodwork, art, modelling, music appreciation or old film screenings.

The scheme is run by three volunteers – Chris, Wayne and Philip. Chris said: “The idea behind Men In Sheds is a really clever one, because men can find it hard to talk about their feelings, so the idea is they will be fiddling with something or occupied with an activity, and then the words just come out. “But it’s a question of learning what people want from it. We want it to be flexible so people can take out of it what they want – so we hope people will just come along and have a cup of tea and a chat and it can build from there.”

Mens In Sheds was founded in Australia in the 1990s, but there are now 439 sheds operating around the UK.

It is hoped men across Weston and Somerset will take advantage of the project as social isolation can leave people at risk of poor physical and mental health.

Weston Hospicecare’s director of patient services, John Bailey, said: “Men In Sheds is a chance for bereaved men to come together to share experiences, ideas and enthusiasm, and ultimately, to help each other through the loss of a spouse, friend or family member.

“The group meets in a big garden shed in the hospice grounds – the ultimate place for leisure, pottering or tinkering.

“You can use the opportunity to pursue practical interests and projects, either as a group or on your own. If you’d prefer, you can simply have a cup of tea and a chat with someone who knows exactly how your life has changed since your loss.”

The groups meet from 10am to noon every Tuesday and Thursday at Weston Hospicecare, Thornbury Road, Uphill.

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