A PROJECT which will help promote good health and wellbeing to the community has opened its doors.

Garrison Commander Lt Col Jamie Balls, councillors from Tidworth and Ludgershall Town Councils and residents watched as Tidworth Area Board Chairman Chris Williams cut the ribbon for the new Tidworth & Ludgershall Men’s Shed shed, in Andover Road Ludgershall.

The idea of a Men’s Shed's provides a communal place of skills sharing, informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement & social interaction.

They are social groups that are self-governed, have their own constitution, their own income and their own meeting place with how each shed looks and the activities that take place in them depend entirely on the skills and interests of the group.

Those taking part are gardeners, artists, collectors, story-tellers, amateur radio enthusiasts, train spotters, model makers and more, but anyone can join and any interest, skill or project is welcomed.

Tidworth & Ludgershall Men’s Shed chairman, Mike Giles said “We have been working towards this day for two years and this is the result of the hard work of the members of the shed who have created this facility, and also the invaluable support of Chris Williams and Tidworth Area Board and the RVS/Asda Foundations who provided us the funds to get our project off the ground. We are also grateful to the Trustees of the Ludgershall Youth club who have allowed us to use this garage to set up the Men’s shed. Although we are called Men’s Shed we are open to both men and women irrespective of age, race, disability or religion.”

Tidworth & Ludgershall Men’s Shed secretary, Mike Kelly said “The aim of the Men’s Shed is to promote good health and wellbeing to the men and women from the local community, by providing a safe and friendly environment for hobbies, recreation or other leisure time occupations including practical interests, skills sharing, the learning of new skills and helping with community based projects. We have already carried out projects for the Tidworth Youth Football team where we renovated a serving hatch for the refreshment hut and the GUL Outdoor Therapy Centre at Shrewton, where we built a wildlife hide and have several others in the pipeline.”

Tidworth Area Board chairman Mr Williams said “Tidworth Area Board was pleased to be able to provide a £5,000 grant to the Tidworth & Ludgershall Men’s Shed. It is well documented that social isolation in older people, and in particular in older men, is an issue across the country, and I know that this fantastic facility is already helping to combat this in our community.”