Interim chairman of Crewkerne & District Men’s Shed, Peter Boothby-Smith has announced its closure. The weekly workshop and social gathering for men and women became an integral part of community life in Crewkerne, during the 11 months it was housed in the Kings Arms. The temporary venue provided a safe and welcoming place where members of the Men’s Shed were able to make new friends, learn new skills by virtue of the shared experience and shared tools policy that was the hallmark of its success. To many of its members, the Men’s Shed provided a new meaning to life and an escape from loneliness and depression, welcomed by medical practitioners in the town.
Through its FIX-IT programme, the Men’s Shed helped many individuals by repairing broken items of much loved furniture and members made all the planters and boxes for Crewkerne In Bloom and for the Orchards Care Home, without charging for the service but appreciating the donations made for materials and the gift of tools. Unable to find a permanent venue for its weekly gatherings, workshop and storage of materials and equipment, the Men’s Shed in Crewkerne has closed.
Peter Boothby-Smith said: “Many individuals and local organisations have provided great help and support. We would especially like to thank Richard Hall for allowing us to use his building free of charge for 11 months. Without Richard’s enormous generosity, there would never have been a Crewkerne & District Men’s Shed. The Rotary Club of Crewkerne District made a donation that allowed us to obtain the necessary insurance cover and the Rotary Club of Crewkerne have been a huge help in helping us to move out of the Kings Arms and into storage. We would also like to thank Henhayes Community Centre for their assistance with advice and help and to the many local people who donated tools and materials.”
Mr Boothby-Smith has questioned why the town council turned down a request for a grant when there are over 500 villages and towns in the UK who support their Men’s Sheds, considering that Crewkerne has an ageing population and is also a retirement location – two areas where a Men’s Shed is most needed. In a last attempt to find a permanent space for the Men’s Shed to continue serving the community of Crewkerne – the groups requirements are: A suitable space in which to work such as a large two car garage or an empty industrial unit, ideally with mains electricity and water connected.