A NEW woodwork group in Wyre Forest aims to tackle social isolation within the elderly community.

The new Men in Sheds Wyre Forest group officially opened a shed at Kidderminster's Berrington Court in Felix Baxter Drive on Wednesday (July 31) for pensioners to meet in for regular workshops.

The Age UK Men in Sheds scheme, which aims to reduce isolation in later life and improve health and wellbeing, has already proved a success in Bromsgrove.

In September, staff from Care & Support24 - part of The Community Housing Group - met with Jo Hughes from Age UK to begin the process of setting up a Wyre Forest group.

And 10 months later, the first of the Wyre Forest 'shedders' were joined by members of Bromsgrove Men in Sheds for the opening event, alongside Wyre Forest district councillors Ian Hardiman and Susie Griffiths and members of staff from The Community Housing Group.

Age UK's Jo Hughes said: "It has been fantastic to experience how everybody has come together to make the Berrington Shed happen, and to witness its opening and the impact that it is already having.

"Recent studies have highlighted that older men are increasingly experiencing loneliness in later life, but that there are very few activities which appeal to them, which is why initiatives like Men In Sheds are so important.

"We look forward to continuing to work with The Community Housing Group and others to help raise the profile of ‘shedding’ across Wyre Forest and Worcestershire as a whole."

A spokesman for The Community Housing Group added: "Becoming a member of Men in Sheds provides a safe and busy environment where men and women can find many of these things in a friendly atmosphere. Most importantly, there is no pressure, people can just come and have a chat and a cuppa if that is all they’re looking for."

Although based at Berrington Court, the scheme is open to the wider community, and the shed will be open on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

For more information, contact Angela McGuire on 07913 882836.