KEIGHLEY men will soon be invited into the Lion’s Den for a great way to pass the time.

They can go along to Cliffe Castle Museum for an afternoon of social, physical, recreational and educational activities.

The Lion’s Den is being formed as part of the national ‘Shed’ movement to provide social and educational activities for men who are socially excluded.

There is already a popular Oakworth Shed at Oakworth Village Hall, and a similar group was set up this summer at the Sue Belcher Centre in Bracken Bank.

Activities at Cliffe Castle will include woodwork, horticulture and fish keeping, and later could be added ‘clean crafts’ such as computing, 3d printing, model making, music and art.

Volunteers recently had a meeting to discuss the launch of the Lion’s Den at Cliffe Castle.

Allan Clark, secretary of the group, said: “We believe activities will grow organically with the membership deciding the direction and way forward.

“It is envisaged that there will eventually be sites in Riddlesden and Bracken Bank. We will possibly incorporate the Friday ‘Pop-Up’ Shed in Oakworth which is a mixed group currently being operated by a committee in its own right.

“It is envisaged that other partnerships will form with like-minded organisations in the local area.”

Mr Clark said the Lion’s Den would be officially launched on the third week of September, and afterwards be open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as a 'Men's Shed', from 10am to 4pm.

He added: “From the ladies’ interest shown at Oakworth and Bracken Bank, it will fairly shortly after that open on a Monday as a 'Women's Shed', or 'Mixed' depending on the service users.

“At present we are opening on Wednesdays and Thursdays whilst we get everything set up ready for the launch.

The group aims to raise £13,000 to open a workshop."

Mr Clark said the Lion’s Den would promote social inclusion for mostly men aged 18-plus,

helping them integrate into society through creative, physical or recreational activities. They will learn or pass on skills and knowledge, and support each other socially.

Mr Clark said people could be excluded from society due to unemployment, financial hardship, bereavement, youth and old age, ill-health, poor education, substance abuse, crime or discrimination.

The Lion’s Den (Shed) is already a member of the National Association of Men’s Sheds and is in the process of becoming a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO). A Board of Trustees has been agreed.

The Oakworth Shed was formed earlier this year at Oakworth Village Hall in a joint initiative with Keighley Healthy Living.

Open to men and women, the weekly sessions offered a chance for local residents to show each other their skills.

The initial sessions included learning to knit and crochet, woodwork, making planters and bird boxes, handicrafts, plumbing, knot therapy, micro-electronics, a magic show demonstration and an Easter celebration.

In June it was announced that the Sue Belcher Centre was setting up the Bracken Bank Shed, with a similar mix of educational and social activities.

Email or call Mr Clark on 07903 044060 for further information.