Reliance Welcome Local Community Group

Apr 17, 2019

Reliance Precision recently welcomed local community group Denby Dale District Men’s Shed to their Huddersfield site for a tour of their manufacturing facility.

A ‘Men’s Shed’ is a larger version of a typical man’s shed in the garden, but instead of being a solitary place, these are community spaces for groups of men to meet, converse and create together. Their ethos is about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and a lot of laughter. The aim being to help reduce loneliness and isolation, enabling men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent. Activities in Sheds vary greatly, but generally entails woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics and model building. Many also get involved in community projects too, restoring village features, maintaining green spaces or building things for schools, libraries and individuals.

Reliance became aware of the local Denby Dale Men’s Shed when Director, James Selka, was introduced to the group by local MP and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Paula Sherriff. James explains “I was very impressed with the work Men’s Shed are doing. The group really does make a difference in the local community. I was particularly struck by the attitude of the men I met and their genuine desire to help others.” During conversation with the group, James suggested they might like to visit Reliance and have a tour of the manufacturing facility.

Nine members of Men’s Shed took part in the recent visit, which began with Kathryn Hullah from Reliance’s senior management team providing an overview of Reliance and an insight into the culture and values of the family owned organisation. Tom Gibson, Reliance’s Head of Production Engineering and Alex Greenhalgh, Estimating Manager, hosted the tours. Tom explains “The men were really very interested in what we did. My group contained a couple of ex-engineers who were very impressed to see that core engineering skills were still at the heart of our production. There was lots of questions and it was great to see how genuinely engaged they were with what we do. It was probably one of the longest factory tours I’ve ever undertaken!”

As well as touring the manufacturing facility, both groups were shown the Apprentice Training Area where they had the opportunity to speak to some of the young apprentices. Phil Slater, one of the Men’s Shed visitors, comments “It was good to see that the traditional values of apprentice training and integration still exist alongside modern approaches to manufacturing. As a group of ex industry, commerce professionals and retired tradesmen, we were pleased to see that de-skilling had not taken place in the pursuit of profit. It is clear that Reliance has a culture where employees are valued and encouraged to feedback, contributing to the success of the business and themselves.”

Further details on Men’s Shed can be found here

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