THE WORK of an east Durham charity has been recognised by academics on the other side of the world.

An Australian study into men’s mental health to be published this year and highlights the CREE Men’s Shed project, hosted by East Durham Trust, in Peterlee.

The book is written by the renowned Australian expert Professor Barry Golding and will include a specific section on the pioneering work in County Durham.

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The Men’s Shed movement is well established in Australia and is based on providing meaningful activity to bring men together who might otherwise be socially excluded.

The idea was picked up by County Durham health professionals some years ago and they engaged East Durham Trust to set up “sheds” in a selection of the area's former pit villages.

Over the years the various shed groups, known locally as CREEs, have gained national recognition, winning a prestigious award in London in 2013.

East Durham Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “Australia leads the way in this branch of social inclusion and mental wellbeing so it’s a real achievement for the work in our part of the world to be recognised in this way.”