Hi, I’m Chris Southern and I am happy to introduce myself as the new Men’s Sheds Cymru Regional Development Officer for South East Wales. I bring to this job a broad range of community development experience and a diversity of personal interests that I believe make me a good match for the role.
Most recently I have been working with FareShare Cymru, who work with food retail businesses to divert surplus and short-date food away from the waste stream and towards community organisations that can use it for social good. My work history also includes managing a charity furniture shop, which worked with volunteers and employability placements to upcycle second hand furniture, an IT refurbishment and recycling operation, delivering IT training for older people, and developing and delivering inclusive recreation and leisure opportunities for children and young people.
I am a father and divorce survivor with a range of personal interests that puts me firmly in the category of ‘master of none’. Under that category, I am a musician, a cyclist, a DIY enthusiast (of necessity), a country walker, dog owner, bird watcher, cook and gardener. I am committed to my role as a ‘Jack’ of all these interests, which is why I joined my local Brass Band training band just over a year ago and try out being an adult learner of my latest instrument, the euphonium.
It turns out that living life is a lot more complicated than I thought it was going to be when I was twenty, and I truly believe that it is my hobbies and interests that have kept me going through some tough times. I hope that through this role I may be able to help increase the opportunities for other men to take part in interesting activities and meet new people that may help them cope with the inevitable complexities of their lives.
I hope to be out and about meeting local community members and groups in the coming months. In the meantime feel free to contact me if you have a question, would like to invite me to an event or you would just like to make contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 07876 680667, I look forward to meeting you.