£5,000 boost for men’s shed to support those who have lost loved ones

Richard Houston, manager of Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium, presents a cheque for £5,000 to T

Richard Houston, manager of Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium, presents a cheque for £5,000 to Tony Rainbird and fellow Beccles Men’s Shed members. Picture: Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium. - Credit: Archant

A group which offers retired men a place to meet, socialise and learn new skills, has been boosted by a £5,000 donation.

The funds have been donated to Beccles Men’s Shed by Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium, based in Ellough, to be used to support men in Suffolk who are possibly struggling after the death of a special person in their life

The donation has been raised through a charitable scheme, operated by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), of which the memorial park is a member.

Under the scheme metal from medical implants is recycled after cremation, with the consent of the family of the deceased. Twice a year the institute asks its members to nominate local charities, which help to support people to cope with the death of loved ones, to receive a donation.

Tony Rainbird, chairman of Beccles Men’s Shed said: “Our primary purpose is to support the mental and physical well-being of men in the Beccles area.

“Men are known to be very bad at making friends and talking about themselves, particularly their feelings.

“Within a shed environment, working with other men, having a laugh and joke, these barriers can be broken down, balancing their mental health well-being. Working with local health providers and social partners we are currently supporting several men suffering social-isolation and depression following bereavement.”

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The group held its first meeting in August last year, and now has a regular attendance of 16 men at each meet up.

Mr Rainbird added: “In November 2017 we moved to a temporary home, a stable block in the Hulver area and together with the very generous donations of used tools by the people of Beccles enables us to offer wood working, wood turning and wood carving.

“We urgently need to move to a long-term home in Beccles making us more accessible to our members and those wishing to join. This extremely generous donation by Beccles Crematorium will help us in finding a new home.”

The group is open to anyone over the age of 18, although their focus is men who are recently retired, made redundant or bereaved.

For more information about Beccles Men’s Shed, visit www.becclesmensshed.co.uk