A MENTAL health group has applied for funding in bid to buy a building for its use.

The Halstead Community Shed Trust has applied to the Halstead Community Fund for funding to purchase the St John’s Ambulance Station at Fenn Road allotments.

The £600,000 Braintree Council cash-pot is available to voluntary, faith, community, and social enterprise groups and not for profit organisations in the greater Halstead area.

The community shed trust plans to use the building as a hub for health and wellbeing.

Halstead Gazette: St John’s Ambulance Station at Fenn Road allotmentsSt John’s Ambulance Station at Fenn Road allotments (Image: N/A)

It will also be working with other local groups and health professionals.

Purchasing the building would ensure it remains in community ownership and not sold for commercial development.

Once the sale is completed, bosses say the project can be operational within three months.

The community shed’s aim is to prevent loneliness among older men.

The St John Ambulance Station would allow the trust the opportunity to establish and develop a community shed.

Community sheds usually attract older men, but many have younger members and women too.

Kevin Pryke, from Halstead, is the project leader and looking to build up the group.

Halstead Gazette: Kevin Pryke runs the Halstead Men's Shed projectKevin Pryke runs the Halstead Men's Shed project (Image: Public)

He said: “Activities in sheds vary greatly, but you can usually find woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics, model buildings or even car building.

“Whatever the activity, the essence of a shed is not a building, but the connections and relationships between its members.

“Sheds offer men a place where they can feel comfortable and at ease, share skills, socialise, and carry out activities that bring benefit to the local community.

“They are a popular activity among older men and proven to reduce levels of loneliness, isolation, depression and improve men’s mental health and wellbeing.”

“The trust hopes the community will support its application and the plans to improve health and wellbeing in the area.”

For more information, contact halsteadmensshed@gmail.com.