Charity Donation to Beccles Men’s Shed – Waveney Crematorium and Memorial Park

Richard Houston, Manager of Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium presents a cheque for £5000 to Tony Rainbird and fellow shedders of Beccles Men’s Shed.

Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium, based in Ellough near Beccles, have presented local charity, Beccles Men’s Shed, with a cheque for £5000 to be used to support men in Suffolk possible struggling after the death of a special person in their life.

The donation has been raised through a charitable scheme, operated by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), of which Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium is a member. Under the scheme metal from medical implants is recycled after cremation, with the consent of the family of the deceased. Twice a year the institute asks its members to nominate local charities, which help to support people to cope with the death of loved ones, to receive a donation.

This is the first donation that the Memorial Park has given the Beccles Men’s Shed.

Men’s Sheds (or Sheds) are similar to garden sheds – a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending. The difference is that 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 of course a lot of laughter.

Sheds are about meeting like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge with like-minded people and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. As a by-product of all of that they reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness particular during bereavement, they allow men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities and in many cases, they save men’s lives.

Waveney Memorial Park & Crematorium Manager, Richard Houston said: ‘We are pleased to be able to support the work that the Beccles Men’s Shed aim to do at such an early stage of them setting up in this area.

Beccles Men’s Shed Chairman, Tony Rainbird said: ‘At Beccles Men’s Shed our primary purpose is to support the mental and physical well-being of men in the Beccles area. Holding our first meeting on 30th August 2017 and regularly have an attendance of 16 men.

The group is open to anyone over the age of 18, whether they are able-bodied or have a disability, although our focus could be men recently retired, made redundant or bereaved all of which can lead to depression without the right support. Men are known to be very bad at making friends and talking about themselves, particularly their feelings.

Within a Shed environment, working with other men, having a laugh and joke, these barriers can be broken down, balancing their mental health well-being. Working with local health providers and social partners we are currently supporting several men suffering social-isolation and depression following bereavement.

In November 2017 we moved to a temporary home, a stable block in the Hulver area and together with the very generous donations of used tools by the people of Beccles enables us to offer wood working, wood turning and wood carving.

We urgently need to move to a long-term home in Beccles making us more accessible to our members and those wishing to join. This extremely generous donation by Beccles Crematorium will help us in finding a new home’.

We currently meet between 10am and 2pm and Monday and Wednesday. Contact Tony Rainbird on 078 3355 8005 or email

About the Author