The Shed Manager Adrian Fields alongside Tom Dwelly, Salford Foundation Young Peoples Employability Co-ordinator. Permission to use granted by Adrian Fields
After the success of Salford Foundation’s Together Women’s Project, April marked the official start of The Shed programme for men.
Offering guidance and support through professional help and peer support, the project supports men to move forward in their life and reach their full potential.
With the aim to encourage independent living skills and improving employability, Salford Foundation is offering one-to-one help, through phone and virtual sessions.
Adrian Fields, the Shed programme’s co-ordinator, said: “I’ve been pressing my managers saying why have we not got a men’s centre?
“That mirrors the women’s centre since the outcome we get from the women’s centre is fantastic.”
Adrian has worked in employee engagement as well as working in prisons, providing education for offenders whilst incarcerated.
“During lockdown, our CEO, Phil East, said, ‘let’s go for it, Adrian’.
“So around about April, I started putting a programme together”
Currently, the Shed is only open on a virtual basis, offering one-to-one help through phone calls and virtual sessions on Zoom. However, Adrian has plans to build a base for the project in future – where clients can come and socialise as well as attend sessions in-person.
“Coming on Zoom is great, as you can see them face-to-face.”
“I always work on facial prompts and gestures to see how people are and how they interact and present.”
The programme is for males over the age of 18. Victims of domestic abuse, those suffering from isolation, offenders and ex-offenders, Adrian is passionate that the service is available to everybody.
“We get referrals through probation service. We also got a project who work in prisons called Achieve in Prisons and if there’s someone due to be released, they’ll refer them to me.”
In the six weeks run-up to release, Adrian visits clients in prison to work on a plan with them. Services available include support getting into work, help managing finance, skill training programmes, and short courses. Adrian is passionate about being an advocate for clients, even ensuring they attend appointments and assisting with benefits and pensions.
“I put an action plan together, so when they get out, they’ve got something to work towards.
“We’re re-enabling men to start socialising again and if we can introduce them to a hobby we’ll do that.”
Adrian is currently working with 12 men but has had over 30 referrals to date. Before the national lockdown, Adrian was able to visit clients at their homes. He found that doing over-the-wall and garden visits was even more beneficial.
“They could see that I’m here to help and I’m not just saying things over the phone.”
“I was actually going there and giving them hope that there is someone out there who can help me.”
Thanks to new funding, three new coordinators have been hired, allowing Adrian to take on more clients. He is also excited to be working with psychotherapy graduates from Salford University and has partnerships with several building companies in the area.
Despite being locked down over Christmas, Adrian and his team will be taking phone calls for those needing support.
Do you know someone who would benefit from this service? You can find contact details for referrals here: https://www.salfordfoundation.org.uk/services/adults/the-shed/