Shed project hopes to help lonely people

Volunteer David Rampley & Oscar Plumley (The Shed) SUS-150129-154359001
Volunteer David Rampley & Oscar Plumley (The Shed) SUS-150129-154359001

A project that hopes to tackle loneliness and social anxiety by bringing together men and women with the same hobbies is taking off in Eastbourne.

The idea, called The Eastbourne Shed, hopes to provide a place where people over the age of 50 can go to do the things they would usually do in their own shed but in the company of others.

The Eastbourne Shed, which is being run by Age Concern Eastbourne, received funding from East Sussex County Council for the next three years and hopes to be open to the public in the coming weeks.

Project manager Oscar Plumley said, “The idea is to have a workshop where people over the age of 50 can come and do things like model making, woodworking, carving - things they would usually do on their own.

“We hope by bringing all these people together, it will help them be more sociable and more motivated. They can talk with people who have the same interests and even help each other or offer tips.

“We’re currently in the process of transforming the Shed into a workable environment. We’ve had so many people donate tools and materials to us, which we are using to build the workshop and workbenches.

“We’ve got some ‘shedders’ already who are helping us prepare the Shed - some of them are in their 90s - and we’ve had a lot of interest from the community.”

The Eastbourne Shed will encourage people to come along and work on whatever project that wish to, such as refurbishing old tools and machines, engine restoration or repairing pieces of old furniture. Once it’s up and running, it will also start holding classes to teach people new skills.

Lisa Bruecher, from Prime PR, said, “We feel now is the best time to introduce the Shed to Eastbourne because it’s just after Christmas and New Year and so people may be feeling lonely after their families have left and want some company. Plus, if people have a New Year’s resolution to complete a certain project or meet new people, we can help them with that.”

The Eastbourne Shed is located on Fort Lane, Myrtle Road and the Age Concern Eastbourne team hope that, if this is a success, they can open more sites across town.

For details, visit www.ageconcerneastbourne.org.uk/the-eastbourne-shed or call Oscar on 01323 638474.