Fleetwood Men's Shed founder in warning message over Covid as doors stay shut
The founder of a Fleetwood charity has sounded out a warning for people in the town to take more care over the spread of the virus.
Tony' O'Neill and the Men's Shed Fleetwood team offer a helping hand and a sympathetic ear to men who are suffering from loneliness, anxiety and depression.
The charity operates from a base at the Beehive Centre on Manor Road, but despite an easing of restrictions on Monday this week, the centre remains shut.
Tony, 56, says he, his wife Lesley, as well as other team members based at the centre have been hit by Covid and he doesn't to put anyone who visits the facility at risk.
He posted a video on the site explaining why it was shut and also called on people in the town to be sensible about the virus.
He said on the post: "I should be saying 'welcome back to Men's Shed, doors are wide open, let's see you all' but we're not. We can't.
"As most of you know I got Covid over two weeks ago. I should be better now but I'm not.
"I've got pins and needles at the end of my fingers and I feel light-headed.
"The annoying thing about this is, it's going round Fleetwood like wildfire and people aren't being responsible."
He said he believed that some people with Covid had been going out to pubs in the town instead of staying at home.
He added: "Come on people, I want to get over this.
"We need to be responsible in this town and until people are responsible in this town, we can't open the doors to Men's Shed."
He urged people to get the test at the drop-in centre at the town.
Later he said: "My wife and I have both had it and I'm concerned about her because she's not good with it.
"I was one of those who wasn't really too bothered about Covid before, to be honest, but I've changed my mind now.
"The last thing I want is someone who needs help to visit Men's Shed and then get sick with the virus, that just wouldn't be right.
"I'm gutted we can't open our doors but it just wouldn't be responsible."
Tony said the charity was still helping people by phone and text.
Dave Smith, 54, another founder member of Men's Shed Fleetwood, also had the virus, from November last year, and was so ill with it he had to go to hospital amidst fears he might not survive.
He said: "I know how serious Covid can be and we are not going to open Men' Shed until we think things are safe.
"Covid has not gone away, it's still out there, and if people don't think about themselves, they should think about other people."