Keith, 79, joined Men in Sheds four years ago, a woodwork project that allows older men in Leeds to keep busy, tackle social isolation and meet new people.
"I joined Men in Sheds around four years ago. My wife saw a feature about it on television and persuaded me to go. I was a bit apprehensive at first but I’m one of the old-timers now!
"I was an engineer by trade so I like to make intricate things – I have a lot of patience. I have my own workshop at home too, but my problem is as soon as I make something I’m no longer interested in it! It’s the solving the problem that interests me. I like the process and then it’s on to the next challenge.
"The Shed is great because it gives me an excuse to show off! I like teaching people and I get to do that too. You’re never too old to learn new things – it’s great to be able to learn something and then pass it on.
"On the first day I arrived everyone was really friendly – the Shed is great because there is always someone to have a chat and a cup of tea with. My wife is disabled so we don’t tend to go out a lot, so this means I can get involved and get talking to other people.
"I definitely think more men could benefit from joining Men in Sheds – especially retired men. It’s important to keep the brain ticking over and not just sit in and watch television. I used to live in Swindon and I was involved in a study where 70% of people who retired died in two years because they were cut off from everyone. When you’ve been working all your life the routine suddenly stops you are at a loss and it takes a lot of time to adjust. It’s quite important to keep busy.
"Men in Sheds has given me another avenue to do something – I look forward to going twice a week. I also love growing bonsai trees, I think it’s my inquisitive nature that keeps me busy – I’ll have a go at anything!"
To find out more about Men in Sheds please click here.