The Squirrel’s Nest was created to provide a space where men could get together, work on practical projects and share stories. The charity aims to help local people who may be suffering from depression, anxiety, grief or loneliness by providing a relaxed pace where people can come together to make friends and learn new skills. Based in a workshop at Tondu Enterprise Park, The Squirrel’s Nest is the first working ‘Men’s Shed’ in Wales.
The Men’s Shed movement started in Australia, to provide a place for men to hang out, socialise, do something practical and talk at the same time. It was quickly discovered that it could increase men’s quality and length of life. Men could talk about health and life issues in an atmosphere that is comfortable.
The group rents an industrial unit and has filled it with lathes, benches, saws, hammers and paintbrushes. Skills in woodworking, from the very basic through to some beautiful craft working, are used to produce anything from pens and bowls to tables and garden benches. They hope to become self-sufficient from selling their handcrafted items.
The Chair of the charity, Alan says, “We started running this many years ago. We knew that if we pooled our skills, we could make something bigger and better. It’s a chance for guys to get out and meet and talk; something which is missing in many people’s lives these days. Women are welcome too.”
It is an awkward truth that men find it more difficult to speak about their health, emotions and wellbeing. We don’t push anyone to share their experiences – they are welcome to just have a coffee and smell the sawdust!
In 2017, the Masonic Charitable Foundation supported the Squirrels Nest with a grant of £1,000
“The Squirrels Nest aim to keep its running cost to a bare minimum; this is so that we can keep the place open and available for everyone. We sell some of the things that we make at the shed and every penny goes back into the charity. We are so pleased and grateful to have been supported by the Masonic Charitable Foundation with a grant of £1000. This will go a long way to keeping the shed open and benefiting all.”
Find out more
The Squirrel’s Nest is generally open Monday to Friday between 10am and 3.30pm at Unit 40 Tondu Enterprise Centre, Bryn Rd, Tondu. For any more information email Robert on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01656 729625