For such a simple concept, the Men’s Shed is making a phenomenal impact on men around the globe. Here’s why:
1. Making Use of Your Talents
With a lifetime of skills behind you, Men’s Shed offers a chance to put them to use again by creating and teaching others.
“Men go to the Shed because they’ve got a bit of time on their hands and they’ve got experience, knowledge, creativity and good ideas. You put all that good stuff into the mix and other good stuff comes out of it.” – John Evoy, Founder of Irish Men’s Shed Association
2. Getting Creative
Being creative – and that means doing whatever it is that gets your creative juices flowing – has the power to change your days, your weeks, your months.
“I like using my hands making things, fixing things – just tinkering about. It’s all self-taught,” says Andrew Swain of Greystones Men’s Shed (Start or Join a Men’s Shed Today). “I also like to learn new skills from guys who have a great deal more experience than me, and hopefully passing some of my skills onto others.”
3. Having a Purpose
Men’s Sheds have given thousands of men across the country a new lease of life. While many of the men at Men’s Sheds are retired, others who are still working, or in between jobs, are simply looking for another outlet and something productive to do with their evenings.
“It gives people a reason to get up in the morning and I can relate to that,” says John Evoy. “Even if you have a week or two off, quite quickly you start not getting up as early in the morning and a lot of the good has gone out of the day so that’s a big part of it.”
Ted Murray of Clane Men’s Shed has seen the dramatic impact that having the support of other men can make in other people’s lives. “Men won’t talk face-to-face, but that they will talk shoulder-to-shoulder is very, very true. Men who don’t know each other are coming up to the shed and are talking about these issues. These benefits are there and they are saving people from themselves.”
The knock-on effect of joining a men’s shed is immense – boosting moods, self esteem and general well-being. “Although the stigma is lessening as awareness increases, I think men still need to be encouraged to share their issues and confront loneliness,” suggests Andrew Swain of Greystones Men’s Sheds. “In the Greystones Men’s Shed, we are committed to tackling this issue – for young and old, retired, unemployed or working men, the able-bodied and those with special needs.” (Note: Learn more about how to start or join a Men’s Shed in your community at https://www.changex.org/ie/menssheds.)
6. Creating a New Circle of Friends
Statistics show that the number of friends an average man or woman has decreases dramatically as the years go on. Having the opportunity to create a new community around you can be priceless. “In our shed, they’re all of different opinions and different walks of life and different occupations and skills, but it’s amazing how well we all blend in together and discuss our problems with each other. Every one of us have a problem and a lot wouldn’t discuss them with their wives,” says Colm Ryan, Co-Founder Clane Men’s Shed.
7. Having Fun
And finally, it’s about having a laugh, enjoying people, enjoying life! “The atmosphere in the shed is brilliant,” says Colm Ryan. “When we meet every monday morning, the banter is almighty. You could get the belt of a hurley or a football when discussing all the matches taking place over the weekend.”
Need any more reasons to join a Men’s Shed or set up a Men’s Shed in your area?
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