Raising the roof on socialising

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A survey is being launched to help improve the range of activities on offer for men in Northumberland.

The county council and Age UK Northumberland have joined forces to explore the idea of setting up Men’s Sheds in Newbiggin, Lynemouth and Hirst.

The idea is to create a social space where men can meet and chat as they pursue a range of practical interests such as woodwork, photography, creative writing, cooking or painting.

Now the council is going to test the water with a Men in Sheds questionnaire to see what the appetite is for such a project and what kind of activities local men would like to see included.

Coun Liz Simpson, deputy business chairman of the council and member for Newbiggin Central and East, said: “The idea of Men’s Sheds came over from Australia a number of years ago and has become very popular with men in communities across the UK.

“These are great places where men can get together, keep themselves busy, active and socially engaged, and in some cases break the cycle of isolation that we know affects a large number of people in our society.”

The questionnaire can be picked up at a community venues such as health centre and libraries, in Newbiggin, Lynemouth and Hirst. Residents can also request an email version to complete and return, by contacting the council’s public health team on 01670 620143.