Okehampton’s Men in Sheds celebrated last week after receiving £1,600 from National Grid to open their shed as a warm space this winter.

The volunteer group is hoping to open an additional day a week to encourage more Shedders to join and reduce loneliness and isolation in retired men while providing a warm space for those struggling to heat their homes.

Men in Sheds said: “We know their is demand from our shed for men who are mostly retired and many live alone and in fuel poverty. We also want to encourage many more to come by offering a warm hub, a cuppa and cakes. We need funds to cover our energy costs of additional opening hours...We also want to increase the insulation in the shed to enable us to save energy.”

The group has estimated that the additional opening hours could benefit dozens more men across the Okehampton community.

Central Devon MP Mel Stride has also leant his support to the group, describing how impressed he was by the “dedication of the Shedders to support the wider Okehampton community,” in a letter supporting the grant application.

He added: “ I have no hesitation in recommending the shed for further funding.”

Okehampton’s Men in Shed opened in 2016 and has carried out many projects in the community including building a reading den for the children’s section of the library and helping Gilead Foundations update its garden.