I originally trained on a YTS scheme as a mechanic, and I have since worked in a Norwich store for the same employer for over 29 years. I encountered some difficulties in my family and work life during in a break in my work life and needed to open up socially and personally. … I did not know I had mental health problems until it slapped me in the face.
I came across Norwich Men’s Shed and immediately felt welcome. I started off making a bat box – under tuition I made toys, bird boxes and insect houses – I then moved onto making quirky garden sculptures including a bird table that looks like a standing man standing holding a tray, which is now going to be a memorial to my dad. I took on a commission and turned an old hen house into a wonderful bug hotel which I am very proud of.
Things are better at home now. My marriage is as strong as it has ever been. There is no better place than the Men’s Shed. When I arrived I felt broken, in need of repair – I feel more grounded now – as though I have had an upgrade.