A TENDRING animal sanctuary plans to help men with their mental health this year by introducing a hub for men to chat and volunteer at.

Greenland Grove Animal Sanctuary, in St Osyth, has announced a plan to open a men's mental health hub in June.

The sanctuary opened its doors to animals in need in 1992 with the help of Carol and her husband Steve Jacobs. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Paddock - Horses grazing at the sanctuaryPaddock - Horses grazing at the sanctuary (Image: Greenland Grove Animal Sanctuary)

Carol Jacobs, manager of the sanctuary, said: "The sanctuary is a place where you can leave your problems at the gate and get some peace. We are like a big family."

The hub will allow men to meet up with other men to share their struggles, find friendships and get involved with practical things like mending, maintenance or just getting some peace to give them time to think.

The sanctuary was successful in getting a grant from the Colchester Catalyst Charity to help set up an area for the hub. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Meow - Twinkles the catMeow - Twinkles the cat (Image: Greenland Grove Animal Sanctuary)

Carol added: "We have had men volunteer after completing their unpaid work because they feel they had found friendship and a new purpose.

"Some stay on and others just come until their life gets back on track.

"We also have retired men who feel the sanctuary has saved them from isolation in retirement. We welcome them all.

"The sanctuary is a great place for men to be with other men. There is always something to fix or create and always time for a brew and a chat."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Scaly - One of the sanctuary's reptilian residents, MarleyScaly - One of the sanctuary's reptilian residents, Marley (Image: Greenland Grove Animal Sanctuary)

Men attending the hub will not be charged, however, the sanctuary is looking for a local business to support or sponsor the initiative for its first year.

Carol said: "It will be great for men who may be retired and find themselves feeling a little isolated or worthless now their job is finished.

"It will benefit men who have lost their confidence and want to feel a part of something worthwhile or men who need to do something of their own separate from their family commitments."

For more information go to the Greenland Grove Animal Sanctuary or the sanctuary's website at greenlandgrovesanctuary.co.uk.