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Engineering consultancy Howard Ward Associates (HWA) has supported Age UK Notts, by providing structural advice to the charity to assist with its plan to create more space and generally refurbish one of its Men in Sheds facilities in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire.
From its head office in Nottingham, HWA delivers construction engineering consultancy services across a range of sectors, including education, healthcare, emergency services, commercial and residential throughout the country.
On a pro bono basis, HWA has provided advice on the structural aspects of Age UK Notts’s planned project, which includes the construction of the new first floor alongside refurbishing an adjacent unit that the charity has recently expanded into.
Launched in 1942, Age UK Notts is one of the largest local independent charities providing a wide range of services for older people from all communities and backgrounds in the city and county.
The charity’s Men in Sheds project has been welcoming older men to get together to learn and share new skills in a local shed concept workshop since 2009.
A team of volunteers are on hand to support and there are a range of tools and equipment for the members to put practical skills to good use in the day-to-day running of the shed.
Members can build confidence and take control by deciding which activities they want to take part in including woodworking, skills sharing and socialising.
The national Age UK’s research shows that 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely. This is now especially prevalent following the COVID19 pandemic and the effects this has had on families.
Giles Ward, director at HWA, said: “We are very pleased to offer our expertise and support to Age UK Notts and its important Men in Sheds project, which addresses the often-overlooked subject of loneliness and mental health issues in older men.”
“This fantastic project encourages and allows men aged 60+ who are isolated or disconnected from their community to experience learning new skills, regaining confidence and making new friends.”
“As a Nottingham-based company, we are always keen to get involved in projects that support the local community.”
Peter Anderson, Volunteer Shed Manager at Blidworth Shed, said: “It is very encouraging to have support from a local Nottinghamshire business like HWA. The refurbishment has been an important aspect returning from Covid restrictions. Now we can open the Men in Sheds projects to many more men aged over 60, who want to be involved in woodworking projects and meet new people”
To find out more about Men in Sheds or to get involved, go to www.ageuk.org.uk/notts/activities-and-events/men-in-sheds.
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