REDDITCH Community Shed is looking to a bright future after moving into a new home.

The group works to combat loneliness and isolation by giving people a safe space to make things, meet new people and chat in a supportive environment.

It was borne out of the national ‘community shed’ movement for older men but has since grown to include the wider community to show the benefits of crafting and chatting.

The group was founded in 2018 by the late Roly Duke and was previously based in the Old Needleworks on Britten Street.

It was forced to close temporarily when Covid hit as bigger premises were needed to operate safely and to accommodate the growing membership.

Mr Duke sadly passed away in December 2020.

Their new home is based in unit seven, an outdoor unit of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre on George Walk and opens on April 26.

It includes a workroom at the back of the unit and a retail area at the front to sell what is made and is thought to be the only community shed in the Midlands with its own shop.

Current chair Dean Bruton explained: “The ethos of the shed association is talking standing next to each other rather than face to face. A lot of guys say they miss that when they retire. It’s about a sense of belonging.

“Redditch Community Shed would like to thank Ken Williams, the Kingfisher Centre Manager, for reaching out to us and providing help and support in reaching this point. In addition, we would like to thank the Sandycroft Centre for providing us with a temporary home for the last 18 months.”

Paying tribute to Roly Duke, he added: “We want to keep his legacy alive and the hard work he put in. The volunteers have all been the recipients of his kindness.”