Revamped Men's Shed Fleetwood back open after ribbon-cutting event

A grand reopening event has been staged by a Fleetwood-based charity which offers a haven for men struggling with their mental health - backed by grants totalling £85,000..

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 7:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 7:50 am

Men’s Shed was closed since the summer after a number of its volunteers contracted Covid-19.

However, visitors will now notice the difference thanks to the extensive revamp to both floors of the Beehive centre, on Manor Road, Fleetwood.

The group’s board has successfully applied for a range of grants, from Fleetwood Town Council and Lancashire Town Hall to the Government, meaning it is now able to expand its activities from the centre.

Tony Cowell, Coxswain of RNLI with Tony O'Neill, president of Men's Shed Fleetwood at the reopening. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

The official reopening, with Fleetwood Lifeboat coxswain Tony Cowell cutting the ribbon, took place on Monday.

The RNLI man also presented Men's Shed Fleetwood founder Tony O'Neill with a framed picture of Bourne May, Fleetwood's lifeboat back in 1897.

He said it was a privilege to be able help reopen the amenity.

Dave Smith, one of the trustees on Men's Shed Fleetwood, said: “We’ve been flabbergasted by the support and messages of goodwill.

(l-r) Rebecca Murdoch, Richard Bradford, Rob Johnson, Ray Cropper, Frank Heald, Tony O'Neill and Dave Smith inside the refurbished Men's Shed Fleetwood. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“We’d just like to thank the community for that and we’ll be looking to offer things here that people want to see.

“The turn-out for this reopening event has been brilliant.”

Tony O’Neill, who founded Men’s Shed Fleetwood three years ago, said: “The place has been completely transformed, thanks to the grants we have been able to obtain.

“The upstairs will be for the men who come to Men’s Shed. We now have a boardroom up there, a workshop and an open space for the lads to relax, talk and play games, be it dominoes, pool or our new polka nights.

President Tony O'Neill upstairs in the refurbished Men's Shed Fleetwood. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“The downstairs has been totally revamped as well, including a new, ultra modern kitchen.

"We’re delighted by the turn-out.”

Popular father and son singing duo Wal and Dion Mitchinson were also invited along to provide musical entertainment.

Downstairs in the refurbished Men's Shed Fleetwood. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard