Central Devon MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride highlighted the importance of men’s mental health with a visit to the UK Men’s Sheds Association (UKMSA).

Mr Stride visited Portcullis House in the Palace of Westminster estate where the UKMSA have temporarily constructed a shed to raise the awareness of men’s wellbeing and the Men’s Shed movement. ‘The Parliament Shed’ has been custom-built and is designed to highlight the health, wellbeing and social benefits of community-run Men’s Sheds.

Mr Stride said: “Men’s Sheds is an amazing movement that helps to shine a much-needed light on men’s mental health. I have actively supported and visited Okehampton Men in Sheds and provided support to Moreton Men’s Shed who have teamed up with the health and wellbeing organisation Wellmoor, part of the Moretonhampstead Development Trust.

“I very much encourage other communities to establish Men’s Sheds across Central Devon to which they would have my full support.”

Okehampton Men in Sheds is active in the community and has recently seen a rise in member numbers and donations since the launch of their new website last year.

Phil Bush from Men in Sheds, said: “It’s helped people get in touch and find us and we have had new members come to us.”

Men’s Sheds were established to provide opportunities for, mainly, retired men to meet and socialise with others while they make things for their local community. Today, there are over 1,100 Men’s Sheds across the UK and over 33,000 ‘Shedders’.

More for information about Okehampton Men in Sheds visit www.okeshed.org.uk.