A NEW Men’s Shed focusing on photography is launching in Blaenavon.

The SMILE Blaenavon Men’s Sheds Camera Club will be based at the Old Post Office Art and Therapy Centre on Prince Street.

The centre will offer men the chance to develop their photography skills, and offer a friendly environment for them to socialise and take part in communal activities.

Initially, the group will be run by the Art and Therapy Centre owner Martin Sotelano, who has been teaching photography for over two decades.


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Mr Sotelano said: “The idea is to try and help men who are struggling with isolation and loneliness.

“This could apply to people living on their own, or elderly people, or people who are out of work.

“There don’t tend to be as many community activities out there for men, so we are looking to provide that.

“The aim will be to be able to offer our services in the community. For example, if someone was opening a new business, or wanted to promote their product, where they would usually go to a professional, they could instead come to us.

“It’s not just about the photography either, it’s about having a place where you can go and be part of a group and speak about any problems you might be having.”

You don’t need to bring a camera, as you can still take great photos with your phone. The centre also has some cameras you can use on professional shoots or in the practices.

The group will meet every two weeks between 4pm and 6.30pm, starting on Thursday, September 19.

It will be the second Men’s Shed to open its doors in the town, after the Coal Shed opened at Big Pit in May.