DREAMS of a community shed project in Halstead have taken a huge step towards reality as an agreement to use a former ambulance building has been secured.

The Men’s Shed Trust has signed heads of terms with St John Ambulance to purchase the vacant Ambulance Station at Fenn Road.

The group had been seeking a lease for the building for some time as it looked to progress the plans further.

Halstead Gazette: Site - the vacant St John's Ambulance Station at Fenn RoadSite - the vacant St John's Ambulance Station at Fenn Road (Image: Public)

The purchase will now allow the trust to proceed with its wellbeing at the shed project.

The aim of the project is not only to save community building but to create a “focal point” in Halstead for health and wellbeing.

Men’s Sheds are places to pursue practical interests, skills and enjoy making and mending.

Garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature while Men’s Sheds are the opposite.

They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and laughter.

The project was brought to Halstead and is run by project leader Kevin Pryke.

Halstead Gazette: Halstead Men's Shed project leader Kevin PrykeHalstead Men's Shed project leader Kevin Pryke (Image: Public)

He said: “The very large ambulance garage will be converted to house the Halstead Men’s Shed which focuses on preventing loneliness and isolation in men which can lead to depression and in extreme cases suicide.

“Sadly, our district has a higher-than-average suicide rate and an above-average ageing population.

“The two training rooms will be converted to be used by other charities, support groups and health professionals with an interest in Health and Wellbeing.

“We are also hoping to be able to offer classes in tai chi, pilates, yoga and meditation.”

The trust hopes to complete the purchase of the building at the beginning of November.

It is now looking for anyone who could benefit from the Men’s Shed, as well as charities or groups interested in using the building.

Mr Pryke added: “We would also like to hear from people who are interested in teaching the tai chi, pilates, yoga and meditation classes.

“We will also welcome any volunteers to help man the place and particularly those with skills in carpentry to instruct in the workshop.”

For more information or to get in touch, contact halsteadshed@gmail.com.