Men’s Sheds : What’s the big idea ?
“Shedders” – as they are known, are usually men who like to get together socially, work on practical projects or get more involved in the community. By working ‘shoulder to shoulder’ we aim to reduce social isolation and promote active and healthy lifestyles in later life.
Men’s Sheds are like a larger version of the typical man’s garden shed. They are well-equipped with workbenches and a range of machine and hand tools. Using their skills and knowledge, members work individually, or together on practical projects that benefit the local community. And for those who are happy to socialise, it’s a place to sit and relax, enjoy a chat over a cup of tea, or perhaps play a game.
The big idea is that a Shed is a safe, friendly, and inclusive environment to share old skills and learn new ones; talk about the issues and experiences that affect our lives; and build new social networks and friendships. It’s been shown that having a sense of purpose and avoiding social isolation has a positive effect on health and well-being in later life.
Sheds are intentionally informal in approach and welcome men (and some women) from all walks of life – whether from manual or knowledge working backgrounds – including those who can be the hardest to reach.
Shirley Men’s Shed
We are at the very beginning of an exciting new Men’s Shed in the Shirley area. The idea for the project has come from members of St James Road Methodist Church who have discussed this idea over the last 18 months. The group organised a series of meetings from February this year and since then planning, organisation and fundraising have begun. We are always on the lookout for like-minded people who would like to join us.
We aim to work on a range of projects that benefit organisations in the Shirley area including: nurseries, care homes, young people, food banks, local charities and our local community groups including the BBGA (Boys Brigade and Girls Association).
Men’s Sheds started twenty years ago in Australia and now number over 1000. In the UK, we now have several hundred with new ones opening all the time. We aim to be one of them!