Photos - Alan Mak MP and Minister Alistair Burt meet members of Havant Men's Shed
Alan Mak MP welcomed Alistair Burt to Havant on Thursday 9 June 2016 as the Minister of State for Social Care and Mental Health visited the popular Havant Men’s Shed. Mak accompanied Burt as they were given a tour of the Fraser Road workspace, where local residents gather to share skills, socialise, and take part in worthwhile community projects.
Minister Burt was given an overview of ongoing projects before a discussion with Shed members over issues surrounding mental health, and the benefits of such groups that support local residents and contribute to charities.
Burt and Mak also took the opportunity to unveil a plaque, made by members of the Havant Shed, to commemorate the Minister’s visit. The premises are open to anyone three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 3pm with no registration required.
Mr Mak has been a long-standing supporter of the local male support and socialising group, and welcomed recent developments such as a re-fitted gallery and the installation of gas air heating to ensure that members remain warm and comfortable.
The Havant Men's Shed is one of a growing number of community workspaces appearing in the UK - the Men's Shed movement having started in Australia where there are more than 1000 Men's Sheds. The Havant Men’s Shed is concerned with a range of community projects, including re-timbering a bench for the Rowans Hospice thanks to Shed member volunteers.
Following the visit, Alan Mak said: “I’m very active backing local community groups and delighted to welcome Mental Health Minister Alistair Burt to Havant Men’s Shed. The Shed do fantastic work with their community projects, and provide an excellent space to socialise, hone skills and contribute to the community helping to fight off loneliness and boost men’s mental health.”
Mak added, “Mental health is just as important as physical health, and as local MP I am working hard to promote local groups like Men’s Sheds who give members a fantastic forum to work on community projects and make new friends. We’re fortunate to have such great Men’s Sheds in the Havant area.”
Mental Health Minister Alistair Burt said: “Alan has been a strong champion of Men’s Sheds locally and in Westminster so I’m delighted to visit Havant’s Men’s Shed to see their good work myself. The Men’s Shed movement is an excellent initiative to promote mental health and well-being on a local level. I was hugely impressed by the projects being carried out by Havant Men’s Shed’s, and the clear enthusiasm that its members have to help the local community.”
Mr Mak is a keen supporter of groups and social clubs that support safe spaces for all members of the local community. He also recently visited Hayling Island’s Men’s Breakfast at The Bridge Centre, which Mak praised as an excellent space for safe discussion and a real hub of community spirit on the island.