The Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust and the Gough Ritchie Trust have provided a van for the Northern Men in Sheds.

The project, which is run by Live at Home, is a community group established in 2017, based in the grounds behind Ramsey Cottage Hospital.

The very spacious shed provides a multi-purpose workshop for creative projects involving metalwork, carpentry, and other skills. But anyone can just meet for a chat over a cup of tea or coffee, or for a game of cards.

The concept, which was originally developed in Australia, has proven to be effective in helping to address the issues of social isolation and loneliness amongst older men, in many cases those who have retired after busy working lives.

Karen Winter, who is interim chief executive officer for Live at Home and the Northern Men in Sheds, explained that the van is already being used daily to collect wood for work that people have commissioned from the Men in Sheds, and then to deliver the finished items.

She said: ‘We have been making things like tables, garden benches and wardrobe doors for people.’

Karen added that the van will also allow them to offer more services. She said: ‘In the New Year we hope to expand the Men in Sheds into the community, going into older people’s houses to carry out odd jobs for them.

‘The Trusts have done a fantastic job for us, buying the van so that we can widen our community support.’

Terry Groves, chairman of the Henry Bloom Noble Trust said: ‘There are many ways in which help can be given to those who look after friends, neighbours and fellow citizens.

‘This community facility, when one thinks about it, is so simple – how can we help those who find it difficult to adjust to events in their lives that have led to much disruption for them with resultant loneliness, feelings of no longer belonging – and it is brilliant in what it can offer to reduce these concerns and mental health pressures.

‘We are really delighted to be able to help in this way, immediate delivery of meeting a need that is central to its work.’

The Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust provides grants which support physical and mental health and wellbeing in the island.

You can find out more about its work at