A grant from Broadacres’ Community Development Fund will help ensure a warm welcome for visitors to the expanded Northallerton Men’s Shed.

The grant has helped pay for an industrial room heater to ensure the growing number of men and women who use the expanded facility are kept warm in their work.

The Shed now covers three connected brick outbuildings at Northallerton Auction Mart which have been transformed by members into a series of workshops with workbenches, tools and machinery as well as a kitchen.

It offers a place for people to meet up for a cuppa and to practice and pass on their skills which include wood and metal working, computing, electronics and cookery. Arts and crafts are also catered for including painting, drawing, model making and stained-glass work.

“A key role of the shed is to help people escape social isolation and to offer companionship,” said Secretary Chris Riley. “People can find themselves in a bad place and the shed is somewhere they can go and meet people. One chap told me recently if it wasn’t for the Men’s Shed he wouldn’t get out of bed.”

The facility offers space and tools for people to put their own skills to good use and to pass those skills on to others.

Costs are covered by a small subscription, grants and the sale of various items made by members.

Recently these caught the eye of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who was so impressed by some of the products during a visit he bought some as gifts for his family.

Group projects also help bring people together for common purpose including the refurbishment of the building and the ongoing creation of a giant model railway track. This should be complete by the end of the year, will link all three rooms and feature scale models of several famous bridges.

“Because of all the skills we now have in-house we can do a lot of jobs such as renovating the building ourselves, which means donations can go further,” said Chairman Dave Puttock. “We welcome everyone whether they have a skill, want to learn one, or just meet up for a cup of tea and a chat.”

To learn more about the Shed and the skills on offer visit  https://northallertonshed.org.uk/

The Broadacres Community Development Fund supports local organisations, groups, and projects in areas where Broadacres has homes. All grants are approved by the Association’s own residents.

To apply to the Fund visit www.broadacres.org.uk/customer-area/getting-involved/community-development-fund/