Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge Men’s Shed members would never claim to rival housing developer Brierley Homes and their construction partner The HACS Group for the scale of their projects.
But that does not mean the value of the group’s contribution to the community has gone unrecognised.
While Brierley Homes and The HACS Group have been busy creating new homes with the Millwright Park development in Pateley Bridge, they have taken the opportunity to support the Men’s Shed with a donation of materials.
Shed members had been struggling to obtain materials for their work and when that became apparent, a donation was organised to help to keep members busy.
That is important not only for mental health reasons – one of the reasons the Shed was established was to counter social isolation and loneliness – but also because it will generate benefits for the wider community.
Volunteers at the shed will be commissioned to make bat and bird boxes, along with ‘bug hotels’, which will be installed at Millwright Park as the development, due for completion in spring, progresses.
Millwright Park is a development of 20 quality homes and will help to meet the demand for housing in the area.
Brierley Homes Director Matt O’Neill said: “Brierley Homes recognises the importance of strong communities and we do all we can to support them in the areas where we work.”
The HACS Group Managing Director, Mark Smith, said: “When we knew there was an opportunity to help the Men’s Shed we were delighted to be involved. With a large, predominantly male workforce, men’s mental health is something very close to our hearts.
“The Men’s Shed provides a tremendous service, both for its members and to others in the community through the items they make.”
Roger Newson Smith, chairman of the Men’s Shed charity, said: “Our members have a great enthusiasm for using their skills to put something back into the community.
“They also enjoy the companionship that working alongside each other and sharing their knowledge brings.
“The sort of support we have from Brierley Homes and The HACS Group helps us to continue doing that.”
County Councillor Stanley Lumley, the member for Pateley Bridge, said: “The pandemic has been a tough time and groups like the Men’s Shed had been a fantastic way for people to start getting together again.
“It isn’t only good for people’s mental health to have groups like this, but their work also benefits other parts of the community. To have a new housing scheme in town which actively supports their work is a tremendous asset.”
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