Fathers in Little Hulton are planning to hold an open meeting on Saturday 9th May to discuss the setting up of a unique fathers-only ‘men shed’ to help their children.
The meeting is the brainchild of local group Salford Dadz whose aim is to improve the wellbeing of children by helping local fathers overcome their problems.
There is an international man shed movement that focuses on retired men, helping them to feel useful again, share their skills and overcome social isolation. But in Little Hulton Salford Dadz have discovered that those sorts of feelings exist in younger men, especially amongst those who can’t find a job.
Steve Mortlock, the chairman of Salford Dadz and a local father of 3 said:
‘We find that when times are tough fathers tend to bottle things up and isolate themselves. Our shed is an opportunity to bring guys together and help the community by doing odd jobs or even making simple wooden goods to sell. We don't know whether our work could raise funds for our children’s activities, but we are going to try it’
Alan Clare, a local grandfather from Swinton with long experience in carpentry and other trades has been the first to come forward and offer his help:
‘I really admire the work of Salford Dadz and so I got in touch and said that I could teach fathers some DIY skills. I think it will help build confidence and I am calling other fathers and grandfathers like me to come forward and help.’
The local Methodist Church on Cleggs Lane got involved as soon as they heard of the idea. Reverend Philip Brooks said:
The idea of a men’s shed fits well with our other activities. We already host a men’s wellbeing group, community garden, a food bank and community café. We have offered the fathers our cellar. It needs some work but that will be the first project for the group to tackle!’
Pictured – Little Hulton father Matt O’Donnell making a wooden bird box.