Funds raised for mental health at Stour Valley Men’s Shed

Charity offering social connections, friendship building and meeting place to share concerns receives £3,280 from local Suffolk community.

Last year, a dilapidated old clubhouse in the Suffolk village of Long Melford was renovated over a period of six months by a local charity. As Stour Valley Men’s Shed, it officially opened in November, as a place to support the mental health of local men.

Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi, Chair of Babergh District Council, presents a cheque Adrian Beckham and the team atCllr Elisabeth Malvisi presents cheque for £3,280 to Stour Valley Men’s Shed Stour Valley Men’s Shed, photo courtesy Babergh District Council

The idea behind it is simple: the Men’s Shed offers a meeting place where people can have fun, share skills and knowledge, and gain a renewed sense of belonging and purpose. In doing so, the shed works to reduce loneliness and isolation, supports people in tackling mental health challenges, and helps to rebuild the local community.

The voluntary group behind the charity relies on donations to carry out its work. They were delighted to receive a cheque for £3,820 presented by Cllr Elisabeth Malvisi, Chair of Babergh District Council, who has hosted a number of fundraising events to support the initiative.

Stour Valley Men’s Shed is part of a network of similar mental health projects across the country and is currently building connections with related organisations.

Cllr Malvisi, Chair of Babergh District Council, says: ‘The Stour Valley Men’s Shed is going from strength to strength, but there is still a lot to do like making it watertight for this winter, which is why I hope the funds raised will go some way toward that goal. This past year I have got to know many of the members, and they have left me feeling very humbled at their achievements.  I have been honoured to help them.’

Adrian Beckham, Chair of Stour Valley Men’s Shed, adds: ‘I would like to express on behalf of all at the SVMS our thanks and gratitude for all the help and advice we have received. With your help and guidance, I feel we have grown as a group and now can be considered as “as part of the community”. That’s a long way from bacon butties in a coffee shop!’

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