Nestled in the corner of Huddersfield Railway Station - tucked quietly away from the bustle of commuters - sits a haven of male pastimes and companionship.

Men’s Shed started three years ago with a handful of men meeting weekly to talk about their experiences over a cup of tea and a half-built bike.

Now the centre has upwards of 70 members. In the last year alone Men’s Shed saw its membership double.

Project manager, Gez Walsh, described how the centre draws on its members to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and openness.

“The guys run the centre themselves, sharing their experiences and skills with each other.

Gez Walsh

“Lots of men find themselves in isolation, especially now with Christmas coming up, it can be the loneliest time of year.

”Here we have a place where men can come and spend time with others and develop their self worth.”

Thanks to the talents and interests of members Men’s Shed now offers everything from carpentry to upholstery. There’s a bike shop, an arts area, a pool table and a garden as well as darts, cards, games, books and even a WII console for members to enjoy.

One of those members is Bob, 68. He first found out about Men’s Shed after being referred there by another project in Heckmondwike.

“It was quiet there and they suggested I might be more suited to this place.

“I came down and was sold instantly. I got a volunteer admin role for two or three days a week but I’m so involved in the project I’m here all the time.”

Bob is just one of many members who volunteers at the project while also drawing on it for personal support.

“Prior to coming here I’d been retired for three years and basically spent all my time on the sofa. Slowly but surely I was becoming withdrawn and disengaged with life.

“But Men’s Shed has been a new lease of life - something I can get my teeth in to.”

The project welcomes men with mental health problems as well as those with a history of alcohol or drug dependency. Yet it also welcomes those who simply have time on their hands.

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As Bob explained: “I suffer from depression and anxiety but you don’t have to have an issue to come here, It’s all about peer support. It’s like a band of brothers down here.”

Lenny, 52, came to the project soon after he moved to the area. Previously he had been living in a homeless veterans’ shelter and didn’t want to become isolated in a new environment. “While I’m here I write and I paint but mostly I just come here to meet people. I will go and sit and have a coffee and a chat. I can talk about what I feel without having to explain exactly what I’ve been through. People just understand.”

Men's Sheds Community Group, army vet Lenny Szrama suffers from PTSD.

Ben, 28, joined Men’s Shed three years ago as one of its founding members.

“I run the bike shop. I initially wanted to become a qualified mechanic and Men’s Shed has helped me do that but it has also helped me through a dark period in my life.”

From the bike shop Ben sells second hand bikes and offers repairs at a fraction of the price of most outlets.

The men also sell the benches, birdhouses and stools produced in the woodhouse.

From this they make a small sum and community members occasionally chip in with donations but Gez Walsh says Men’s Shed is still in serious need of funding.

“The community are really good to us. This morning we had a load of tools donated to the project by a local tiling company.”

“Really though we need funding. It’s just like any project like this, it’s always that they really really need funding.”

If you are interested in helping out Mens Shed or for more information contact Gez Walsh: gez.walsh@yccuk.org.uk