Social housing provider Four Housing is helping to combat loneliness in old age by supporting an initiative, the ‘Men in a Workshop’ project. The scheme will see residents of Wooler in Northumberland learn and share new skills whilst being in a sociable environment.
In partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service, a volunteer organisation that enriches the lives of older people and their families, the service will offer older men a chance to share, learn and use skills that may otherwise go to waste and an opportunity to meet new people. These skills include woodwork and traditional crafts which men often do not have the tools for or environmental space to work in. Four Housing has contributed Community Development funding to provide the much needed tools and materials for the men, including Four Housing tenants.
The initiative aims to give older people the confidence and ability to mix socially, empowering them in their daily lives. This, in turn, will help them build their confidence and skills.
Commenting on the initiative, Roz Tinlin, Area Manager for The Royal Voluntary Service said: “The workshop for the men is a tremendous success, a place where they learn, share skills and socialise. The men have many different backgrounds and skills, and they love to make wooden items and use all the wonderful tools.
“The funding from Four Housing is a massive boost, which enables the Royal Voluntary Service to buy more tools and wood for the men. A first class lathe has been installed, which the men are eager to learn how to use or to perfect their skills. A massive thank you to Four Housing for supporting men in the community so they have a safe, friendly place to get together and work. The kettle does a lot of work too!”
Gillian Buchan, customer engagement officer at Four Housing said: “We’re delighted to be able to support projects like this, as they give those who need it the chance to combat their loneliness and make new friends. It’s all part of their wellbeing and encourages independent living.”
“With very few activities or social groups tailored specifically for men, the service means that the often lonely elderly residents will have an outlet to socialise with like-minded people.”
The group also plan to be working with children from a local school and pass on their skills to the next generation.