POOLE Men’s Shed has recently welcomed a new workshop to provide additional workspace for its members.

Originally set up in Australia, the international charity helps men to come together through practical tasks such as craft and woodturning, as well as providing a space for people to socialise.

The new shed, provided and assembled onsite by Coldstream Buildings in Gosport last week, was funded with the help of £21,500 donation from the BCP Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy.

Ian Price, chairman of the club, said: “It has been a two-and-a-bit year struggle to get to where we are now.

“It is great to have the workshop in place now and we are busy kitting it out with all the equipment we have. It will be a great space where guys can come and just get on with making things.”

The workshop is currently being fitted out with machinery equipment, work benches and storage cupboards with a grand opening due to take place in the coming weeks.

The Poole branch started up in October 2004 using the premises of the Marine Voluntary Services on New Harbour Road in Poole. Since 2015, it shares the facilities at the Limelight Centre in Canford Heath and has 40 members to boast.

However, like other areas around Canford Heath, the charity has been subject to vandalism from groups of youth.

Rob Kingman, a member of the Poole Men’s Shed, said: “It is a bit of an issue in the local area.

“Our skylight has been broken twice and they have damaged our boiler in the past as well. We’ve had to reinstall new fencing which should hopefully stop them from climbing up and over it.”

The charity also helps its members with wellbeing by providing counselling services and checking in on infirm members, as well as having ambitions of working with local health groups

Ian continues: “What we were thinking of doing is, now that we have got this in place, we want to open more days a week to give the men more opportunities to socialise.

“On one half day, we would like to work with the local dementia group but, as we are not trained health workers, it is something that needs to be properly set up.”

To find out more the charity, visit https://poolemensshed.weebly.com/