Members of Scarborough Mates Men’s Shed have unveiled the new workshop after spending months renovating facilities at the site to bring the unit on Londesborough Road up to standard.
Work has included creating a new kitchen area, disabled toilet, removing internal walls and installing new lighting, widening doorways for wheelchair access and redecorating inside and out.
The charity aims to alleviate loneliness, which has risen during the pandemic, among the hard-to-reach residents in Scarborough who have suffered illness, unemployment, bereavement and those lacking confidence.
The new centre provides a space for residents to come together to complete practical activities which can include woodworking, metalworking, arts and crafts and model railways.
The most important thing is to create friendships and have a chat “over a cuppa and a biscuit”, the charity said.
Scarborough Mates have established a relationship with the Pupil Referral Unit at Gladstone Road School to encourage pupils to develop basic practical skills.
The project was supported by businesses including Sirius Minerals Foundation, The National Lottery, Age UK Scarborough as well as those who donated tools and messages of support from playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn.
Founded in Scarborough in 2018, the mates are ready to welcome new members after securing an exclusive workshop and will be open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4pm.
To find out more about taking part, visit the Scarborough Mates website here.
Research from the Campaign to End Loneliness found that isolation is going to be a serious issue beyond the Covid pandemic.
The report highlights that around one million more people became chronically lonely during lockdown – resulting in 3.7 million adults reporting that they were often or always lonely by the beginning of 2021 according to the Office for National Statistics.
Robin Hewings, Programme Director of the Campaign, said: “Covid has opened everyone’s eyes to loneliness, which is why a large majority of people in our survey agreed that loneliness will be a serious issue even beyond the pandemic. More of us have been touched by loneliness personally and it has opened up conversations about this serious issue.”